Much high art of the twenty-first century is influenced by popular culture and, conversely, high art often finds its way into representation in popular culture media to varying levels and degrees. An example of this is the anime The Girl Who Leapt through Time, which uses a fictional artwork to significantly drive a narrative arc within the plot situating the important action within the museum environment. The artwork is both a signifier of the film’s central themes of loss, memory, and a representation of humanities creative impulse. The painting is explored via art formalist means and as metaphor to outline a speculative museology of the high art object inside and outside of the bounds of the particularity of the physical museum. This analysis and discursive treatise probes the importance of the interplay of “high” art and popular culture in a contemporary paradigm and the broader concern of art as bound to the human experience.

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