Edgar Holloway began engraving at the age of fifteen and was one of the last artists to enjoy the final years of success remaining to the great printmakers of the British Etching Revival. Initially self-taught, though encouraged by the great masters of etching, Muirhead Bone and James McBey, Edgar Holloway received his first formal instruction in etching technique from Joseph Webb and later from the Scottish etcher William Wilson. His work is divided into two phases: the first between 1930 and 1947; the second phase beginning in 1969 and lasting to the early years of the 1990’s.
Having abandoned etched portraiture in 1947, after more than a decade of brilliant workmanship, Edgar Holloway was inspired to re-kindle his youthful talents in etching by the prospect of a visit to America at the invitation of Rev. T. Phelan, one of the American patrons of the Guild of St. Joseph and St. Dominic. The Rev. Phelan had visited the Guild at Ditchling in 1970 and was greatly impressed with Edgar Holloway’s etched portraits from the 1930’s. His enthusiasm inspired Edgar Holloway to undertake a new phase of etched portraiture and Holloway received a commission for twelve etched portraits as a direct result of his American trip. Although Edgar Holloway made many highly accomplished topographical prints and fine portraits, he is best known today for the many penetrating and superbly handled self-portrait etchings through which he revealed his own intriguing persona.