Tom Tierney, Paper Doll Artist, Dies at 85

I'll venture to guess that every one of us has owned or at least seen some of Tom Tierney's paper doll books in our lives. Just looking back at them now, I want so many.

 From the mid-1970s until his death, Mr. Tierney reigned as “the undisputed king” of the international paper-doll world, as The New York Times wrote in 1999 — a milieu that comprises thousands of collectors in the United States alone. Over the years, he created more than 400 paper-dolls books, most issued by Dover Publications.
A message from Dover Publishers:
"Everyone at Dover—and his legion of fans—is deeply saddened by the passing of Tom Tierney on July 12, 2014. One of our most beloved authors, Mr. Tierney created over 275 books for Dover, including dozens of bestselling paper dolls, with subjects ranging from U.S. presidents to popular movie stars. As one of America's foremost authorities on fashion history, Tom's books are famous for being meticulously researched and beautifully rendered and his works are prized by designers, collectors, and paper doll lovers around the world. We've put together a collection of books by the King of Paper Dolls to help you celebrate his life and work. For, as he once said, "My books can be a way to discover things that you weren't taught in school. And I like to think that they bring their subjects to life for readers, just the way they do for me when I work on them." For more about Mr. Tierney, use this link to read the exclusive interview "For My Work Is My Pleasure: A Talk with Tom Tierney." 

A page from Dover's Tierney offerings.

Tom illustrated the unsual (for a) paper doll:

Pop culture:

    Dover still offers more than 125 of Tom's books for sale here:


  1. Aww... RIP, Mr. Tierney. I have more than a few of those books. (Generally the historical ones -- I always ogled them in museum shops when I was younger.)

  2. So sorry to hear about his death. I have so many of his books... kept hoping he would do an Audrey Hepburn one. Maybe I should have written!
    Love your blog ... Susan

    1. Yes! Why don't you do an Audrey Hepburn book? I will review it.

  3. He created such beautiful books, which always intrigued me when I saw them in stores. I finally gave in and did purchase some. His talent will be missed.

  4. It ate my comment oO! I love his books and he will be missed as there were so many more books he could have put out. I'm very glad that Dover is continuing to publish them as I only have a few and try to pick them up when I can on Amazon. I wish him the bliss of floating through eternity surrounded by beautiful fashions