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The Morse Museum to light the Orange Court Motor Lodge Neon Sign for first time in over 30 years

Experience the Orange Court Motor Lodge neon sign from the Morse Museum’s collection illuminated in public for the first time in over thirty years.

The Morse Museum to light the Orange Court Motor Lodge neon sign for the fist time in over 30 years

The Morse Museum in Winter Park is inviting the community to see the Orange Court Motor Lodge neon sign from the Morse Museum’s collection illuminated in public for the first time in over thirty years on Friday, April 12, 2024.


At 6 pm, take a “Color & Light” tour of the Morse galleries (available on a first-come, first-served basis). At 7 pm, enjoy the lighting of this piece of architectural history outside of the Museum.


The sign remains lighted until 9 pm. For details on "Neon Night" at The Morse, click here.


The Orange Court Motor Lodge first opened as the Orange Court Hotel in 1924. With stylish interiors and the city’s first indoor swimming pool, the hotel was a popular resort destination for celebrities and Orlando locals alike.


The hotel changed ownership in the 1960s and was renamed the Orange Court Motor Lodge. It also was outfitted with a new neon sign featuring 115 incandescent bulbs and weighing close to 1,000 pounds. When the Orange Court Motor Lodge closed in 1990, Hugh F. McKean (1908–95), the Morse Museum’s first Director, stepped forward to save the sign from demolition.


The Orange Court Motor Lodge sign is one of many saved by McKean as part of the collection at the Morse Museum. Nearly all the signs are from local businesses and establishments, representing an important part of Orlando history.


The neon signs offer connections to other objects in the Morse collection. Neon is created by passing electrical currents through specially bent glass tubes of rarified gas. Likewise, additional works of art in the Museum’s collection feature a plethora of color and light effects produced by chemical reactions and specialized techniques.


Neon signs reached peak popularity in the 1950s before they were replaced by more cost-effective colored lighting like LED. Over time, neon signs were destroyed because they were too costly to maintain. Today, there are few artists working in the original techniques that crafted signs like these.


By collecting and conserving them, the Museum is helping to preserve an important art form along with local and design history.


Enjoy free admission to The Morse Museum during its Easter Weekend Celebration

The Morse houses the world’s most comprehensive collection of works by Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848–1933), including the artist and designer’s jewelry, pottery, paintings, art glass, leaded-glass lamps and windows; his chapel interior from the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago; and art and architectural objects from his Long Island country estate, Laurelton Hall.


The Museum’s holdings also include American art pottery, late 19th- and early 20th-century American paintings, graphics, and decorative art.


For more information on The Morse Museum, click here.


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Enjoy free admission to The Morse Museum during its Easter Weekend Celebration

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