Accelerator – an exhibition space
Culture & Society
Accelerator is an exhibition space where art, science and social issues meet. It is part of Stockholm University. The mission of Accelerator is to engage actively with society, producing exhibitions presenting international and Swedish contemporary art.
Accelerator organises a public program of presentations and talks with artists, researchers, students and the general public. Accelerator’s programme is driven by an ambition to contribute towards a transparent and empathetic society by opening up opportunities for art to spark discussions and interdisciplinary dialogue.
The history of Accelerator
The idea to build an exhibition space at Stockholm University emerged from a long-standing and successful collaboration between the University and Magasin III Museum for Contemporary Art on the MA programme in Curating Art. Accelerator was initiated by Margaretha Rossholm Lagerlöf, professor emerita of art history, and David Neuman, former museum director and current chair of Magasin III. In 2015, the vice-chancellor of Stockholm University, Astrid Söderbergh Widding, officially founded Accelerator and the activities were launched. Richard Julin was appointed artistic director in 2016 and began developing the artistic programme, which was initially exhibited at various sites on the Frescati campus. Completed in autumn 2019, the new exhibition space was inaugurated in September the same year.
The site of the exhibition space was previously an underground laboratory for research in accelerator physics. Designed by architect Gustaf Holmdahl (1879-1958), the original building was erected in 1936. Named after Nobel laureate Manne Siegbahn, professor of experimental physics at Stockholm University, the laboratory housed a cyclotron. Commissioned by Akademiska Hus and redesigned by 2BK Architects, the premises were renovated and extended in 2016-2019, a new building housing Accelerator’s entrance and restaurant was added.