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Vintage Motel Sign – Southern Art Print


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This vintage motel sign print represents part of the fabric of fading America. Little roadside motels once dotted the landscape of America’s old highway system. Over the course of the 20th century, the interstate highway system bypassed a lot of these old roads. And frankly our expectations as travelers has changed much as well. A lot of these old mom-and-pop motels have fallen on hard times if not entirely vanished from the landscape. I have vague memories of family trips as a small child of sleeping in little roadside motels not unlike the one that probably stood behind this vintage motel sign in Cordele, Georgia.

I have always been a sucker for vintage signs like the one pictured here for the Southern Motel. There was a unique quality to those old signs. A stark contrast to the homogeneity of today with the same chain signs dotting the American landscape from sea to sea. But even the the old chain signs once had more style, I think. When I spotted this vintage motel sign on the roadside near Cordele years ago, I had to pull off and capture this little piece of fading Americana in the morning light.

The title of this print is a nod to a book title that some, particularly other southerners may recognize. If you’ve never read Bailey White’s Sleeping at the Starlite Motel: and Other Adventures on the Way Back Home, you should! It’s a book by a Georgia author that has something to say about place and identity. And there was something about those themes that resonated with me as I saw this old “Southern Motel” on the roadside in rural Georgia.

As you can tell from the final print, I took some artistic license with this vintage motel sign. The wistful sepia tone speaks to the fading aspect of this old place. In fact, the last time I drove by here, the sign was swallowed by vegetation and the last remains of the old motel behind it were gone. It’s on a matter of time before this old sign is another piece of roadside history on the rural roads of Georgia. I had an inkling of that years ago when I created this vintage style artwork.

Have you by some wild chance slept at the Southern Motel in Cordele? Or perhaps, like me, this print simply speaks to you about a fading sense of Americana? I do hope you’ll share what attracts you to this vintage motel sign print!


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