Richard Haines was born on December 29, 1906 in Marian, Iowa. He was raised on a rural farm in Iowa.
As a young man he became interested in art and attended the Minneapolis School of Art, where he eventually began teaching as well. Haines became interested in mural painting and by 1933 he had won the Vanderlip Traveling Scholarship.
This prestigious award enabled him to travel to France to attend the Ecole des Beaux Arts, Fontainebleau, France. It was the height of modernism in Europe and Haines was able to absorb the various types and techniques including cubism and surrealism which would influence his paintings.
Back in the United States it was the Great Depression and upon returning to America, Haines became involved in New Deal ‘s Treasury Department's Section of Painting. Haines completed nine mural commissions for U.S. Post Offices between 1935- 1941. Like many artists of the period Haines moved to Los Angeles in 1941 where he earned a teaching position at the Chouinard Art Institute. In 1954 Haines became the head of the painting department at Otis Art Institute.
Haines was a leading figure in the West Coast Modernist school of painting.los Angeles was a leading art center with its multiple art schools and a long history of art colonies throughout the State. Haines completed murals, sculpture, paintings, watercolors and prints while in California. The artist’s unique cubist style incorporated abstract geometric planes of line and color. Haines often painted figurative works, including Native Americans of the Southwest, religious scenes, and modernist portraits. His dreamlike compositions have a dreamlike quality uniquely his own.
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY
Smithsonian, American Art Museum, Washington, DC
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA
Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara, CA
San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego, CA
Seattle Museum of Art, Seattle, WA
Portland Museum of Art, Portland, OR