Richard Lack was born in Minnesota in 1928, and was interested in painting from a young age. He studied at the Minneapolis School of Art, but was eventually drawn to Boston where he learned the techniques of the Old Masters from R H Ives Gammell. Lack built his own studio in Glen Lake, Minnesota that was paid for in large part by commissions from the Kennedy family for portraits of their son Joseph Jr, who was killed in World War II.
Lack's body of work includes portraits, still life, landscapes, interiors, watercolors and pastels, and etchings.
With financial support from the Elizabeth T. Greenshields Memorial Foundation of Montreal, Canada, and the encouragement of the Minnesota arts community, he opened Atelier Lack, where he taught traditional art techniques to serious artists.