A Closer Look at Cover Artist: H. Tom Hall

tom hall book covers
H. Tom Hall

H. Tom Hall, An Artist Who Inspired

H. Tom Hall’s artwork on romance book covers is legendary. His style is instantly recognizable, refined, yet sensual.

Hall was born in 1932 and grew up in Prospect Park, Pennsylvania. He studied at the Tyler School of Fine Art and received his BFA from Philadelphia College of Art.

While in the U.S. Army, Hall wrote and illustrated a children’s book published by Knopf.

His Non-Romance Covers

After illustrating children’s books and magazines for many years Hall moved on to illustrate book covers. His sweeping style was a natural fit for historical and romantic epics.

the kingdom tom hall
The Kingdom, L.W. Henderson, Avon, 1974

His work has graced some of the biggest bestsellers of all time, like Anne Rice’s 1976 Interview with a Vampire.

interview hall
Interview With the Vampire, Anne Rice, Ballantine, 1976

He also created covers for some Colleen McCullough works, including The First Man in Rome and The Thorn Birds.

A Romance Cover Innovator

His big blast in the romance industry came in 1977 illustrated Kathleen E. Woodiwiss’s blockbuster bodice ripper, Shanna. This portrayed one of the first full cover embraces for a romance. The book sold millions of copies, and the passionate clinch cover was a huge part of the novel’s allure.

shanna tom hall
Shanna, Kathleen E. Woodiwiss, Avon, 1977, Tom Hall cover art

A Tom Hall cover was a symbol of elite status as he only worked with the top publishing houses. No Tom Hall would be gracing a schlocky Zebra, Pinnacle, or Playboy Press.

He worked for the big names: Avon, Warner Books, Ballantine, Bantam, Fawcett (after they’d been bought out by CBS Publications & Ballantine), or Reader’s Digest.

From Love’s Ashes, Frances Patton Statham, Fawcett Crest, 1984

Among the top-tier authors that he produced covers for were Laurie McBain, Kathleen E. Woodiwiss, Rosemary Rogers, Jennifer Wilde, and Shirlee Busbee.

Legacy

Hall was among the most innovative cover artists of the 1970s. He was called the “leading paperback artist in the country” and “a giant in the industry” by New York art directors.

It was surprising to me that there was no Wikipedia page dedicated to this particular artist. Hopefully, some Wiki editor will remedy that soon.

Hall passed away in 2010. He left behind a wife of over 50 years, a loving family, and a legion of paperback book fans who loved his artwork.

More Tom Hall

To read more about H. Tom Hall and his artwork you can access this page:

Tom Hall Page

Your Opinion

Are you a fan of H. Tom Hall’s work? If so, what are your favorite covers or pieces of art painted by him?

Please drop a comment, and let’s talk romance.

H. Tom Hall Covers

2 thoughts on “A Closer Look at Cover Artist: H. Tom Hall”

  1. Found you on Pinterest and I was surprised to see you have a blog immediately subscribes! Anyways, I’m very happy you made a blog post about H. Tom Hall’s covers. His covers are my absolute favorite! His art style is just so beautiful and unique. I especially love the way he draws his male characters.

    1. Hello Anna! Glad you you found us! Tom Hall’s covers are gorgeous and he was so instrumental in the success of many books. Considering his achievements, he should be more acclaimed than he is.

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