I've done a lot of reading on this to try and find the answer myself, but have not been successful. I've seen many definitions of "fine art" in the web, wikipedia, etc. I've read about the historical meaning of the term (art made primarily for its aesthetic value, not for usefulness, its commercial value, or photojournalism), etc.
With respect to photography, I've not found anything that says "fine art" photography has to be in B&W. But when you see photographs grouped or labeled as "fine art", 99% is in B&W (my own estimation- no scientific research done). Google "fine art photography" in Google Images and you get a a whole lot of moody B&W, nude pics, close-in portraits, flower or landscape still life, etc., with very few color photos.
I've read the other forum discussions re "what is fine art?", but I think my question is a little different. I'm specifically focused on the B&W question, which doesn't seem to be addressed in previous postings.
Who woke up one morning and deemed that in order for photographs to be considered "fine art", it had to be in B&W?