The Walker Art Center is a contemporary art center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States. The Walker is considered one of the nation's "big five" museums for modern art along with the Museum of Modern Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim Museum and the Hirshhorn. It was founded in 1879 by lumberman Thomas Barlow Walker and which he formally established at its current location in 1927 as the first public art gallery in the Upper Midwest. Directly across from the museum are the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, which opened in 1988; and the Cowles Conservatory. The Walker Art Center underwent a renovation and expanded the museum in April 2005.