The Rye Art Gallery Trust was founded in 1957 by artist Mary Stormont (1871 - 1962), who eloped to Rye with fellow artist Howard Stormont (1859 - 1935) in 1898. They married in St Mary's Church, Rye, and lived in Ypres Studio, Ockman Lane. Howard's abilities lay in landscape painting and portraiture, while Mary painted landscapes and interiors, and was especially sought after for her flower paintings. They exhibited all their lives, showing regularly at the Royal Academy of Arts, and at art societies and galleries in London and the South East. After Howard's death, Mary continued to live at Ypres Studio, with its inspiring views across the marshes to the sea.