Born in the Czech town of Austerlitz (today Slavkov u Brna), Josef Gassler (1893–1978) attended the Art Academy in Breslau (today Wrocław), and then from 1912 to 1916 the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. In 1917 he was awarded the Königswarter Prize, followed by Special School Prize, the D’Allemand Prize and the recognition of a state travel scholarship. In the 1920s Gassler lived in Karlsbad (today Karlovy Vary) and intermittently, from 1925 to 1927, in Paris. He was able to make a name for himself mainly as a portraitist and figure painter. He and his Jewish wife survived World War II in a state of internal exile. As a German-speaking inhabitant of the Sudentenland, Gassler was expelled at the end of the war and spent the rest of his life in Vienna. Halina Wittlin-Moser (1903–1991) lived with her husband Berthold, the owner of a porcelain manufacture, in Karlsbad.