"Richard Haas was born in 1936 in Spring Green Wisconsin. He grew up in Milwaukee after his family moved there during WWII. He attended the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee from 1954 till his graduation in 1959 with a Bachelor in Art and Art Education degree. During the summer months of 1955 and 1956, however, he returned to his native Spring Green to work as a stonemason assistant to his great uncle, George Haas, who was the Master Stonemason at Taliesin, the home of Frank Lloyd Wright. His residence there allowed him to observe all aspects of Mr. Wright’s and the Fellowship’s activities.
In 1968 Haas moved to New York for a one-year sabbatical that has lasted until the present. At the same time, he also accepted a one-year teaching position in printmaking at Bennington College, which lasted for over 10 years. He split his time between Soho and Vermont during this very productive period of his life.
After working for many years as an abstract and color field painter he began to produce a series of drawings, paintings and especially etchings and drypoints of 19 th and early 20th Century New York facades and buildings. These studies began as studies for his dioramic boxes of New York streets but evolved into a full-fledged obsession with American architecture and its history.
In 1975 Haas completed his first outdoor mural, a replication of a cast iron façade at the corner of Prince and Greene. This work was commissioned by Doris Freedman of Citywalls, which later evolved into the Public Art Fund. It led to dozens of other outdoor commissions throughout the United States and elsewhere. He also painted his first interior in his Soho loft. This classical redo of a loft interior included a fireplace and a balcony with a view over the roofs of Soho. This loft interior and that of Peter Nelson led to innumerable interior projects from that time to the present. Some included large and complex floor to ceiling public spaces, while others were small private interiors.
Occasionally small and medium-sized cities also asked for projects that would alter the perception of their communities. Huntsville, Texas was one city that utilized his services to treat over twenty buildings in their central business district. Homewood, Illinois was another city that used his work to alter their downtown."