Melanie Wade Leslie
Fine Artist * Printmaker



About Transart Industries...

 If you have reached this site, it is most likely that you are searching for information about Transart Industries or TransDesigns, a company that flourished in the late 1970’s through the 1980’s as a multi-level art and accessories organization.  The company sponsored designers who sold a variety of custom-framed decorative art, some re-strikes from antique engraving plates, and some fine art etchings, linocuts, serigraphs, collagraphs, etc., produced by fine-art printmakers from various regions of the US.
     While the greatest emphasis among Transart designers was upon selling nice-quality decorative art reproductions (and that is the operative word of distinction) for residential and business environments, this inventory was created through the commercial grade offset lithography process and was never to be considered “investment quality”.  It was and still is high-quality, custom-framed decorative art reproductions of renowned paintings around the world.  It rarely, if ever, increases in value over time, in the same way that most residential decor rarely does

     On the other hand (and this is where some confusion comes into focus), in the areas of the re-struck engravings from antique plates, and the fine-art prints that were all “hand-pulled” pieces of work done in limited quantities, these art works are considered originals (multiple originals, if you will) and are treated in a little different manner than the “decorative line”.   These pieces were hand-signed by the artist in pencil on the FRONT of the work below the image area and a small number resembling a fraction would be located somewhere near the signature.  In addition, a “Certificate of Authenticity” would accompany each piece that would verify the size of the edition (how many prints were pulled) and again show the artist’s signature on that official statement.  The number (fraction) on the print itself should always match the number on the Certificate of Authenticity to certify its value.  All of this documentation and hands-on handling in the production and the sale of the fine art prints serve to elevate the significance of buying original art as opposed to reproductions.

     I am frequently asked to comment on whether or not a piece of art that has been acquired through this channel has appreciated over time.

     First let me say that I was both a Transart designer as well as a Transart artist of fine-art prints during the time period between 1979 and 1985, which is why I have a few of my images on my site to connect with folks who own or have owned my work and would like to see what I am doing now.  I am not an appraiser, however.  I cannot, nor is it my place really, to place value on other artists’ works.

     What I can tell you about my own five little pieces is that they have been exchanged from time to time at roughly twice, or in a few cases, three times their stated unframed retail value from the 1984 Transart price list.  Others, I have been told have been picked up in garage sales or street fairs for far less than their previous retail listing. 

     Art is a curious commodity.  Its value lies in the eyes of its admirers.  I hope this information at least helps you determine what you have and how to pursue its destiny from this point forward.










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