William K. Vanderbilt II’s (1878-1944) great-great granddaughter, Consuelo Vanderbilt Costin, has been named a legacy trustee by the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum Board of Trustees.
Costin is a seventh-generation descendant of Cornelius Vanderbilt, the shipping and railroad entrepreneur who amassed one of the greatest fortunes of the nineteenth century.
“I am so honored to be appointed to the board of the Vanderbilt Museum,” she said. “The property is magnificent, and I am so happy we are able to share this legacy with future generations.”
“The Museum is honored that Consuelo Vanderbilt Costin, who is named after Consuelo Vanderbilt Earl (1903-2011), daughter of William K. Vanderbilt II, will serve on the Board of Trustees,” said Ronald A. Beattie, president of the Board.
“Mr. Vanderbilt’s legacy lives through his estate and museum, and now through Consuelo, his living heir.”
A singer and songwriter, Costin is an international pop star. She has performed around the world and shared the stage with such notable artists as Mya, Tweet, Vanessa Carlton and the late Joe Cocker.
In July, she was a special guest at the Museum’s annual Clam Bake, a benefit for Vanderbilt education programs. As a surprise, she entertained nearly 200 diners by singing the classic George Gershwin song “Summertime” from Porgy and Bess.
Over the past few years, Costin’s music was featured on the Billboard Dance Charts for an accumulated 49 weeks. Costin has been featured on some of the most popular television shows in Germany. In 2014, a film crew from the prominent German news channel NTV (part of the CNN network) chronicled her life in New York City for several weeks, and featured her in a six-part series for its show “Premium Lounge.”
In April 2015, she filmed a music video at the Vanderbilt Mansion. The story explored an arranged marriage, Costin said, and looked at the societal pressures and family positioning that had plagued Vanderbilt women of the past, dating back to Consuelo Vanderbilt’s marriage to the Duke of Marlborough at the end of the nineteenth century.
In the video, Costin wore the engagement ring of her great-grandmother, Consuelo Vanderbilt Earl, who died in 2011 at the age of 107. Mrs. Earl gave Costin the ring as a gift, and it served as inspiration for her jewelry line, Homage, which launched in 2015.