On July 12, 1999, the Walker copresents the Midwest debut of the groundbreaking and legendary Brazilian composer/vocalist Caetano Veloso, attended by more than 2,500 people. At year’s end, it’s chosen as “one of the best concerts of the year” by the Star Tribune, City Pages, and the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

On August, 7, 1999, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reviews Andy Warhol Drawings, 1942–1987 and comments, “in a remarkable show, the Walker traces Andy Warhol’s path to the pinnacle of 20th-century art.” The exhibition receives extensive local and national press and draws large crowds to the museum.

On September 1, 1999, Artforum includes 2000 BC: THE BRUCE CONNER STORY PART II, Global Conceptualism: Points of Origin, 1950s–1980s, and Andy Warhol Drawings, 1942–1987 in its 50 important exhibitions worldwide. These three exhibitions are showcased at the Walker during the fall.

On September 10, 1999, CityBusiness ranks the Walker among the 10 biggest tourist attractions in the State of Minnesota.

On September 12, 1999, arts critics from the New York Times pick highlights for the upcoming year and include five Walker exhibitions, ten Walker performing arts programs, and four Walker film programs. Few museums in the world organize programs that are as eagerly anticipated as the ones produced by the Walker.

On September 15, 1999, the Walker receives a $112,500 General Operating Support Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). A review panel notes that “the Walker is a lively, progressive institution very aware of its community, its unique resources, and the special challenges of modern art.”

On September 17, 1999, the Walker receives a $100,000 grant from the McKnight Foundation in support of ArtsConnectEd, a pioneering educational Web site developed in collaboration with the Minneapolis Institute of Arts that links teachers, parents, and students to the vast array of arts resources held by Minnesota’s two largest art museums.

On October 1, 1999, the Ellsworth Kelly Foundation awards the Walker a $50,000 grant to fund the conservation of postwar art in the museum’s collection. This unsolicited grant is only the second one that the Foundation has ever made to a museum for conservation programs.

On December 26, 1999, the chief art critic of the New York Times names Matthew Barney’s Cremaster 2 the most “extravagant new work of art” in his review of the art highlights in 1999. The world premiere at the Walker on July 18 attracted critics from Time, Newsweek, and other periodicals. In an unusual arrangement, the Walker jointly acquires the artwork with the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

On January 1, 2000, Artforum highlights the Walker-organized exhibition Let’s Entertain in its winter preview of 40 important worldwide exhibitions. Let’s Entertain, which opened at the museum in February, will also travel to the Miami Art Museum, the Portland Art Museum, the Museo Rufino Tamayo in Mexico City, and the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris.

On January 1, 2000, Third Eye Vision (1999), a large-scale collage painting by Chris Ofili that was recently acquired by the Walker, is featured on the cover of Art in America.

On January 7, 2000, the Walker begins its sold-out screenings of Krzysztof Kieslowski’s 10-part film The Decalogue, inspired by the Ten Commandments. The films are followed with discussions led by local theologians. The Star Tribune gives the series four stars out of four.

On January 28, 2000, the New York Times states in a major article about the Twin Cities that “the Walker Art Center is one of the nation’s foremost museums of modern art, second only, in some people’s thinking, to the Museum of Modern Art.”

On February 1, 2000, the Walker receives a $40,000 grant from the Jerome Foundation to commission new works by emerging artists for Gallery 9, the museum’s online gallery for digital art. This is the second consecutive year the Walker has received a grant from the Foundation in support of digital art.

On February 1, 2000, the Walker launches Free Thursdays, a weekly sampler of free films, tours, gallery talks, and other educational programs. In addition to offering free programs, the Walker is now open until 9 pm on Thursday evenings. Since then, attendance on Thursdays has risen 84% from the previous year.

On February 10, 2000, Matthew Mirapaul of the New York Times on the Web states in a review of the online exhibition Art Entertainment Network that “The Walker—already among the most progressive cultural institutions when it comes to digital art—has mounted one of the largest curated exhibitions to date.”

On February 25, 2000, the Star Tribune reports on the front page that “Minneapolis arts patrons Judy and Kenneth Dayton have given the Walker Art Center 60 artworks . . . from their private collection of 20th- century paintings, sculpture, prints, and drawings. The gift is one of the largest art bequests the Walker has ever received.”

On March 9, 2000, the Walker presents the world premiere of Chinese director Chen Shi-Zheng’s Forgiveness, involving master artists from Japan, China, Korea, and the United States. Co-commissioned by the Walker, which also supported its final three weeks of development, the work galvanizes members of local Korean- , Japanese- , and Chinese-American communities.

On March 21, 2000, the Star Tribune writes in a front-page article that the Swiss architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron was selected by the Walker to design its expansion. The newspaper reports, “Tom Fisher, dean of the University of Minnesota’s School of Architecture, called Herzog & de Meuron one of the hottest firms on the international circuit.”

On March 27, 2000, Skyway News writes, “Wandering through A Practical Dreamer: The Photographs of Man Ray may be technically intriguing, historically informing, and intellectually stimulating—but above all, it’s as profoundly moving an experience as one is likely to find in any visual art presentation.”

On April 14, 2000, the mobile art lab Walker on Wheels (WoW) arrives at Sheridan Global Arts and Communications Magnet School in Northeast Minneapolis. For the next eight weeks, teachers, students, and neighborhood residents utilize the site to make art, hold science fairs, PTA meetings, poetry readings, and teacher workshops, and screen free films from the Walker’s own collection.

On May 1, 2000, the American Association of Museums (AAM) awards first prize in the Educational Resources category to the WAC Pack: A Family Guide to Art at the Walker Art Center. The translucent backpacks, which are lent to children and parents who visit the museum, include innovative games with art themes. The Metropolitan Museum of Art came in second to the Walker in this competition.

On May 3, 2000, City Pages writes in its “Best of the Twin Cities” edition that “the Walker is the only museum in town that makes us feel like we’re in New York City for an afternoon. . . . The import of the Walker to the cultural scene can’t be overstated: The absence of this one institution could demote the cities to fourth-rate status.”

On May 3, 2000, City Pages names the Walker-organized exhibition 2000 BC: THE BRUCE CONNER STORY PART II the “Best Single Artist Show” and writes, “spanning the long career of this unjustly overlooked West Coast artist, and spreading through three galleries of the Walker, 2000 BC was so good that it may have helped bring this perennially innovative artist some of the acclaim he deserves—at last!”

On May 10, 2000, the Walker enters the e-commerce arena, launching online event ticketing and online merchandise sales.

On May 15, 2000, the American Association of Museums awarded the Walker the 2000 Gold MUSE Award for Through Your Eyes, a module of ArtsConnectEd. This is the second year in a row that the ArtsConnectEd site, which provides students and teachers online access to thousands of collection and program records, has won a Gold Muse Award.

On May 29, 2000, Skyway News reviews The Home Show exhibition, noting “Risk-taking doesn’t frighten the Walker’s curatorial staff. A ‘visual art’ show could include a disco dance floor as easily as a landmark painting. Some experiments may have been more successful than others, but their willingness to redefine the art gallery should earn them every Minnesotan’s undying love. This latest show is no exception.”

On June 9, 2000, more than 7,000 people hear rock pioneers Sonic Youth and special guest Stereolab perform at an outdoor concert on Vineland Place in front of the Walker and the Sculpture Garden.

On June 11, 2000, the Star Tribune reports that Walker-organized exhibitions “are everywhere this summer.” SFMoMA exhibits Matthew Barney Cremaster 2 and Robert Gober: Sculpture + Drawing, the M. H. de Young Memorial Museum has 2000 BC: THE BRUCE CONNER STORY PART II, the LA County Museum of Art shows Edward Ruscha: Editions 1959–1999, and the Portland Art Museum hosts Let’s Entertain.

By June 30, 2000, more than 994,276 people have visited the Walker and Minneapolis Sculpture Garden during the past 12 months, an 18% increase over the previous fiscal year. The Walker remains one of the most-visited art museums nationally, and the highest-attended art museum in our region.

On March 21, 2000, the Swiss architectural firm of Herzog & de Meuron are selected to develop a site plan for the Walker’s campus and the design of its expansion, which will allow the Walker to share more of its resources with its growing audience. Minneapolis-based Hammel, Green and Abrahamson, Inc. (HGA) has been selected as the local architectural partner for the project.