Rowntree was born in Bartlett and reared in Stamford. In 1920 he received a baccalaureate from Southern Methodist University, Dallas. He studied afterward at the Dallas Art Institute under Olin Travis and at the California School of Fine Arts, San Francisco, before traveling and studying for several years in the Orient and in France. He became an art instructor at Southern Methodist University in 1926. In the summer of that year, he traveled and sketched in France and Spain with Jerry Bywaters, who had been his student at the university. In 1929 Rowntree won a Louis Comfort Tiffany Fellowship and in the same year taught on a cruise ship. Rowntree last taught at the university in 1933 and succeeded Frank Klepper as art director of the Annual Exhibition of Texas Artists, sponsored by the Dallas Woman’s Forum. He worked in Austin in the late 1930s and 1940s and taught briefly at Southwester University, Georgetown. His paintings frequently reflected oriental themes. Rowntree died in San Antonio. Source: Texas Painter, Sculptors and Graphic Artists, John and Deborah Powers.