Widely regarded as a master of modern lighting design, Serge Mouille was born in Paris to working-class parents who were frankly perplexed by his interest in the design world. At 13 years of age, Mouille enrolled in the silver workshop at the School of Applied Arts where he quickly established himself as a gifted metallurgist and silversmith. He received his master silversmith diploma in 1941 and began apprenticing under renowned silversmith and sculptor Gilbert LaCroix.
After working for a number of Paris companies, a 25-year-old Mouille returned to the School of Applied Arts to begin teaching metalworking classes and open his own studio. At this point in his career, he primarily focused on commissioned work such as handrails, wall sconces, and chandeliers.
In 1953, Jacques Adnet completely hanged the course of mid century modern lighting when he gave Mouille his first commission as a designer of lighting fixtures. Although his productive career as a lighting designer lasted only decade, Mouille is remembered for work that exhibited the highest levels of artistic acumen and functionality. Unlike his contemporaries, who typically employed a variety of mass production techniques to better respond to market demand, Mouille consistently rejected commercial influences to handcraft lighting with unwavering and painstaking attention to detail. He worked tirelessly to realize a dynamic, sculptural aesthetic that suggested kinetic movement through space.
In 1955, Mouille became a member of both the Society of Decorative Artists and the French National Art Society. He subsequently received the Charles Plumet prize, a medal from the Directors of Professional Artists, and a Diploma of Honor at the Brussels Expo. In 1956, Mouille made his first US sale when he designed a lighting fixture for Hollywood icon Henry Fonda.
By 1964, Mouille had ceased production of lights and returned to his first love of silversmithing. He spent the rest of his life designing jewelry and teaching at the School of Applied Arts.