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Catalog Number 2015.037.004
Description Framed Color Poster, "Sunset the Pacific Monthly," July, 1912, c. 1929-2000. Poster of original magazine cover art that was printed at a later date and displayed in the Sunset Magazine offices. Offset color lithograph on paper shows an image of five people driving in a red car down a road in a forest landscape. A mountain, Mt. Rainier, with snow on the peak is visible in the background. The car appears in the foreground at bottom center driving down a road that is flanked by tall pine trees executed in greens and purples. Two men sit in the front seat and a woman and two men sit in the back seat of the car. Large text at top reads, "Sunset / THE / PACIFIC MONTHLY." The text color transitions from red at left to pink at right. Brown text at bottom left reads, "POTLATCH / TOWN By / Walter V. Woehlke," and, "THE GREAT / MONO MIRACLE / A Tale of Mark Twain / By Peter B. Kyne." The poster's frame is gilded wood with a pattern of three-dimensional curved decoration on all sides.
Object Name Poster
Collection 3D - Advertising Media
Title Framed Color Poster, "Sunset the Pacific Monthly," July, 1912, c. 1929-2000
Date c. 1929-2000
Creator Sunset Magazine
Role Publisher
Inscription Text "Sunset / THE / PACIFIC MONTHLY" (large text across top of poster); "POTLATCH / TOWN By / Walter V. Woehlke," and, "THE GREAT / MONO MIRACLE / A Tale of Mark Twain / By Peter B. Kyne" (bottom left)
Provenance This framed poster was orignally on display at Sunset Publishing's main headquarters in Menlo Park, CA.
Notes "A roadster filled with smartly dressed adventurers drives down the narrow dirt stretch from Washington’s snow-capped Mt. Rainier, known in Native American legends as Tacoma, “the mountain that was God.” Rainier was the first national park open to autos, in 1908, and with an improving network of roads, the West’s wild places invited exploration. "


"Sunset is a lifestyle magazine in the United States. Sunset focuses on homes, cooking, gardening, and travel, with a focus almost exclusively on the Western United States. The magazine is published monthly by the Sunset Publishing Corporation, part of Southern Progress Corporation, itself a subsidiary of Time Warner.

Sunset began in 1898 as a promotional magazine for the Southern Pacific Transportation Company, designed to combat the negative "Wild West" stereotypes about California.

The Sunset Limited was the premier train on the Southern Pacific Railroad's Sunset Route, which ran between New Orleans and San Francisco (the train is still in operation (from Los Angeles) as part of the national Amtrak system). Sunset Magazine was started to be available onboard and at the station, in order to promote the West. It aimed to lure tourists onto the company's trains, entice guests to the railroad's resort (the Hotel Del Monte in Monterey), and possibly encourage these tourists to stay and buy land, since the Southern Pacific was the largest single landowner in California and Nevada.

The inaugural issue featured an essay about Yosemite, with photographs by noted geologist Joseph LeConte. There was information about train travel, as well as were social notes from Western resorts. Poetry featuring railroad themes and a later string of short stories in which characters swapped tall tales, always aboard a train, also highlighted travel by rail. Most of these early stories were penned by Paul Shoup, who later abandoned fiction to become president of the Southern Pacific.

In 1914, the railroad sold the magazine to its employees, and Sunset began to publish original articles, stories and poetry focusing on the West. The format resembled other national general interest magazines of the day such as Collier's and The Saturday Evening Post. Sunset reported on heavy political and economic issues; contributors included Stanford president David Starr Jordan discussing international affairs and future U.S. president Herbert Hoover discussing the League of Nations. Fiction and poetry became more ambitious, featuring authors such as Jack London, Dashiell Hammett, Mary Austin, and evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson.

Sunset cover art in its early years was of high quality, with the early 20th century being the golden age of magazine illustration. Contributors of cover art included Will James, Maynard Dixon, and Cornelia Barns.

In the 1920s, the magazine became unprofitable, as it grew thinner and its circulation dwindled. In 1929, Lawrence W. Lane, a former advertising executive with Better Homes and Gardens, purchased Sunset, and changed the format to what would become its current Western lifestyle emphasis. The Lane family would own Sunset for the next 62 years.

In 1943, Sunset devised a new motto: "The Magazine of Western Living".

For its first five decades, Sunset was headquartered in various downtown San Francisco office buildings. In 1951, the headquarters was moved to Menlo Park, California, a suburb located 25 miles (40 km) south of San Francisco. The 9-acre (36,000 m2) parcel was a remnant of a 19th-century estate owned by the Hopkins family. This land was originally a part of a grant to Don Jose Arguello, governor of Spanish California in 1815. Its new headquarters was designed by Cliff May, known for his designs of ranch-style houses, which had been featured in Sunset for two decades. May created a long, low, adobe homestead that surrounded a central courtyard. The central courtyard, or the Sunset Gardens, were designed by famous landscape artist Thomas Church. For a while, Sunset referred to the Menlo Park headquarters as the Laboratory of Western Living. Its test kitchen processes thousands of recipes a year. It tests its gardening advice in its 3,000 sq ft editorial test gardens, which is designed to achieve high performance in tight spaces. Roughly 50% of Sunset's garden photography is taken in this area.

In June 2015 Sunset announced it would be moving its headquarters to Jack London Square (Oakland, California) in December 2015. The gardens will be relocated to Sonoma County.

Lane Publishing sold Sunset Magazine and books to Time Warner in 1990, and the company was renamed Sunset Publishing Corporation.The first issue of the magazine under Time Warner was published in August 1990. In 2001, Time Warner reorganized Sunset to be part of Southern Progress Corporation, best known for its similar home and lifestyle magazine Southern Living (its similarity to Sunset is no coincidence: its founders came out West to see how the Lanes did it in the early 1960s).

Dimensions H-29.875 W-21.375 D-0.75 inches
Dimension Details 29.875 x 21.375 x 0.75 (framed dimensions)
Medium Lithograph
Search Terms Poster
Sunset Magazine
Subjects Covers (Illustration)
Magazine covers
Magazine publishing industry