The freedom of artistic expression is covered in Art. 21 of the Federal Constitution. The first legal basis in the field of support for artistic creation was the Federal Decree on the Promotion and Improvement of Swiss Art of 1887 (Bundesbeschluss betreffend die Förderung und Hebung der Schweizerischen Kunst 1887). On the basis of this federal decree, the Federal Art Commission (EKK) was founded in 1888.
The late statutory basis for the visual and applied arts is the Culture Promotion Act, which came into effect on 1st January 2012.