The Overlooked Art of the Motel

Tuesday June 04, 2019 Written by Smith

Motels are usually just places we stay in on the way to more celebrated landmarks. But as these photos show, there's plenty about them worth celebrating.

The photos are taken from the Motel Register, a blog dedicated to championing the often overlooked aesthetic and cultural significance of the humble motor hotel. Included in its archives are everything from essays on the motel as floating signifier in Mad Men through to posts on strange travel-related ephemera and branded matchboxes.

But what we’re really here for are the photos (there’s a reason the site is hosted on Tumblr) of the motel in all of its mid-century, low-budget glory. They mightn’t be the classiest places to stay in, but there’s something in their air-conditioned, limited cable-offering rooms worth cherishing.