The son of a miner-turned-print seller, Edgar Holloway was born in South Yorkshire. At the age of ten, he was enrolled on a correspondence course where he came into contact with the renowned etcher Edward Bouverie Hoyton. Upon leaving school at thirteen, he continued his education at Doncaster school of art and in the same year his first published drawing appeared in a local newspaper. Largely self-trained, he learned about printmaking from library books and from the prints surrounding him in his father’s shop.
During the 1920s and 1930s, Holloway gained the favour of some of the key figures of the etching revival, his prints were purchased by both the Victoria and Albert Museum and the British Museum and he staged two critically-acclaimed exhibitions.
Holloway is widely acclaimed for his self-portraiture, no other British artist made so many etched self-portraits, twenty-seven between 1931 and 1996, creating what has now become a visual autobiography.