The Mansion: Museum & ExhibitsThe 43-acre museum complex counts among its collections not only the Gold Coast-era mansion [1910-1936], a marine museum, natural history habitats, curator's cottage, seaplane hangar, boathouse and numerous other estate features [gardens, fountains, balustrades and pools], but also marine and natural history specimens, house furnishings and fine arts, photographs and archives, and an extensive collection of ethnographic objects that make up the former William K. Vanderbilt II estate. A portion of today's museum - the Hall of Fish - was actually opened to the public during Vanderbilt's lifetime. Then, as now, the museum seeks to preserve and interpret artifacts that represent his life, collecting interests and intellectual legacy.
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W.K. Vanderbilt II and his Yachts
The exhibit centers on 10 of Vanderbilt's privately owned yachts. Through photographs, documents and the trophies he received, dating from 1897 through the early 1930s, a history of his wealth, daring and explorations are on display in the Ship Model Room. The Vanderbilts had a deep interest in transportation, yachting and adventure. Vanderbilt's great-grandfather, Cornelius, initiated a nautical tradition in 1853 by taking his family to Europe on his yacht the North Star. William K. Vanderbilt II (1878-1944) grew up visiting exotic ports and sailing on some of the most luxurious yachts continuing the family tradition. His love of the sea and ships is evident. Vanderbilt's collection of Marine Art and ship models are displayed in the Ship Model Room and throughout the estate. A collection of bone models dating from the late 18th century through the 19th century can also be seen in the Ship Model Room. The exhibit is available to visitors with the price of admission.
For more information and associated programs, or to arrange a group tour or special event, contact us.