Richard Haas was born in Spring Green, Wisconsin in 1936. His earliest artistic influences were through the Taliesen Foundation, where he visited and worked as a teenager with his uncle, who was a stonemason for Frank Lloyd Wright. Eventually, Haas moved to Milwaukee and attended the University of Wisconsin, receiving his B.S. degree in 1958. He received his M.F.A. in 1964 from the University of Minnesota.
After completing his graduate studies, Haas taught at Michigan State in Lansing and then moved to New York City and began teaching printmaking at Bennington College in Vermont. In 1979 he gave up his full-time teaching position to pursue his mural career and he has since completed more than 120 murals, interior and exterior.
Among Haas’s prizes and honors are the American Institute of Architects Medal of Honor in 1977, the Municipal Art Society Award in 1977, fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1987 and the Guggenheim Foundation in 1983, the Doris C. Freedman Award in 1898 and the Honorary Alumnus of the Year from the University of Wisconsin.