Trained as an architect in Stuttgart and Munich, Hans Finsler (Swiss, 1891–1972) went on to study art history in Berlin and Munich under the guidance of Heinrich Wölfflin, among others. During this time he made the acquaintance of Hans Curjel, Franz Roh, and Sigfried Giedion. In 1921 he moved to Halle (Saale), in order to pursue his PhD in art history. From 1922 onwards he worked as a librarian and lecturer in art history, and from 1925 onwards as lecturer for advertising at the school for applied arts at Burg Giebichenstein Halle, Saale. In 1927 he completed a traineeship at the Neue Photographische Gesellschaft (New Photographic Society) in Berlin and immediately afterwards began teaching photography at Burg Giebichenstein. From 1927 onwards he photographed in advertising, for the Staatliche Porzellanmanufaktur Berlin (State Porcelain Manufacturer) in Berlin and a textile factory in Halle, among others. In 1932 he moved to Zurich, where he was teaching photography at the school for applied arts (KGSZ) from 1938 to 1958. As a photographer, he continued with advertising and object photography.