SERGE MOUILLE (1922 – 1988)
Serge Mouille was born in Paris on December 24, 1922. At the early age of 13 Serge Mouille went to the “École des Arts Appliqués” (Academy of Applied Arts) in Paris. There he was trained in metallurgy and as a silversmith. Gabriel Lacroix, a sculptor and silversmith himself, was his master and in 1945 Serge Mouille opened his own silver smithy. At the same time he started to work as a teacher at the renowned Academy of Applied Arts in Paris.
Mouille’s most successful time began in the 1950s. In 1953 Serge Mouille started to work on the designing of table-, floor- and ceiling lamps. Most of the time Mouille’s designs were a mixture of delicately built frames and extraordinary lampshades and organic forms. Almost all of his lamps were black on purpose: they aimed at a movement of space, supported by the elaborate kinetics and sculptural forms.
Even Jean Prouvé, a master of metallurgy and a furniture designer himself, had a one-armed floor lamp designed by Serge Mouille in his house in Nancy.
At the end of the 1950s Serge Mouille experimented with the, back then, quite new neon tubes: in the following years he designed many floor and table lamps which used neon tubes as illuminants. During this time Serge Mouille came down with tuberculosis and in 1959 he had to give up his work as a designer and had to seek medical treatment.
Unfortunately, after his illness, Serge Mouille was not able to pick up the thread of his former successes. The production of his lamps was stopped in 1961.
In the late 1960s Serge Mouille returned to his old job as a teacher at the Academy of Applied Arts in Paris. However, Mouille completely abandoned his activities as a designer.
Today Serge Mouille’s lamps are produced again exclusively by his widow Gin Mouille. He himself died in France in 1988.