Richard Leet is originally from Waterloo, Iowa. He attended the University of Northern Iowa and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree and Master of Arts degree. He also pursued graduate studies at the University of Iowa. After 7 years as an arts educator, He became the first director of the Charles H. MacNider Art Museum in Mason City, Iowa, retiring in 2001. He has been exhibiting since 1956 and has had over 67 solo exhibitions. In the fall of 2012, a retrospective exhibition was held titled, Painting the Wind, Chasing the Seasons: Richard Leet, A Retrospective Exhibition Spanning over Fifty Years of Creative Expression.
This exhibition was made possible by a grant from the Hanson Family Foundation and by Circle of Giving members Jan and Tom Lovell.