The MAN was first opened to the public in 1999 inside a building of the Twenties, which had previously housed the Provincial Authorities, located in the city centre of Nuoro. Up until 2003 it was included as an office within the cultural department of the Provincial Administration. The first nucleus of the collection was built up by bringing together a few public collections (belonging to the Province, the Municipality, the local Tourist Board, the Chamber of Commerce). The idea of a provincial art collection soon developed into a new museum project which alongside research and conservation might add an intense exhibition and workshop activity. The collection was improved with new acquisitions and the activities have spread out into the local community. In 2004 the museum was granted independent management status, and set itself up as an institution without independent legal status, and became a part of Amaci, the national association of contemporary art museums. In 2013 MAN was granted regional certification as a top level museum. The reorganisation and development plan involved the opening of a new exhibition space, created out of the conversion and restoration of two historical buildings located in piazza Sebastiano Satta, and the current location will host the permanent collection.