Edgar Rowley Smart was born in January 1887 on Smedley Lane in Cheetham Hill, Manchester his farther Thomas was a professor of music. Smart studied at Manchester School of Art 1901-3, and in Liverpool 1903-6 under F. V. Burridge and then later at the École des Beaux-Arts, Paris.
Smart joined the Royal Field Artillery in 1914 and was shipped to France where he was badly gassed.
In September 1920 Smart marries Anita Maud Sharpen an artist’s model at St Pancras Register Office London, he appears to have led transit/bohemian lifestyle living in London, Paris, Cornwall and for a time because of health reasons Gutenberg, Sweden.
Smart had a long friendship with Augustus John, typically inviting himself down to Alderney Manor for the weekend and staying on for some months. John said “ after he was induced to leave, he had about exhausted us, together with the pictorial possibilities of the district !
He was a Member of the Sandon Society, Liverpool, 1907, and founder of the Society of Modern Painters Manchester 1912. Rolwey Smart held his first exhibition with Bertram Nicholls at the Grosvenor Chambers, Deansgate, he showed at Manchester Academy of Fine Arts, the Lerger Gallery in London, and has work in Liverpool, Burnley, Stockport, Nottingham Galleries ,most notably a portrait of him by Adolph Valette hangs in Manchester City Art Gallery
The last few months of his life Rowley Smart lived in Longnor, Derbyshire he died aged 47 in August 1934.