Sunset Magazine is a lifestyle magazine focused on life in the Western United States. Formed in 1898 as a promotional magazine for the Southern Pacific Railroad, the magazine was intended to combat the negative “Wild West” stereotypes about California. The magazine faced early problems after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake destroyed the Sunset offices but recovered fairly quickly thereafter. By 1912 the magazine was doing well enough to purchase Portland-based magazine Pacific Monthly and combined the two to form Sunset: The Pacific Monthly.
Sunset cover art in its early years was of high quality since it was published during the golden age of magazine illustration. Contributors of cover art included Will James, Maynard Dixon and Cornelia Barns, amongst others.