An interplay of theatrical past and present, design process and preservation, winds its way through Cooper Hewitt’s collection. The twentieth century continued many popular entertainments—plays, circuses, vaudeville—as well as developed new genres and forms—musical theater and film, to start. Designers conjured the fictional and at times fantastical worlds of these productions, represented here through costumes and scenery, often creating visual language synonymous with the story’s characters and the written text.