I'm trying to find out more about the tax treatment of sale of art, specifically when the original artist sells the work the first time. I'm not concerned with subsequent sales. The tax jurisdiction is the USA.
Is the original work of art considered a capital asset of the artist, and is its sale therefore taxed at one of the capital gains rates (short- or long-term)? Or is it considered ordinary business income, subject only to deduction for cost of materials, etc?
I know that a patent is considered a capital asset of the inventor, and sale of the patent by the inventor gets capital gains treatment (subject to certain conditions). I'm curious if there's an analogous treatment for fine artists and their original works at first sale.
An idea of where to look for the answer would be as gratefully received as the answer itself. I've spent several hours on Google, and everything I've found deals with capital gains treatment for art collectors, investors, etc.