Villa Finale's permanent exhibition orients guests on four themes that will make their visit more enjoyable and informative. These four displays feature photographs and three-dimensional objects.
King William National Historic District
Formally farm lands for the Alamo, the King William neighborhood grew and prospered under San Antonio's early German immigrants. This exhibit includes historic information from farm land days, to a devastating flood in 1921, through the 20th century revitalization of the neighborhood.
Villa Finale: 401 King William
Built in 1876 by hardware merchant, Russell Norton, the house at 401 King William Street - now known as Villa Finale - went through eleven different colorful owners before Walter Mathis purchased the home in 1967. Learn about the home's unstable past to its resurrection under the ownership of Walter Mathis.
Walter Nold Mathis
A proud ninth-generation Texan, Walter Nold Mathis was born into a successful family that saw its share of pitfalls after the Stock Market Crash of 1929. Overcoming the hardships of combat during World War II and struggles to build a name for himself in the business world, Walter Mathis went on to become a successful stock broker, San Antonio civic leader and historic preservationist. His purchase of a house at 401 King William turned out to be the catalyst for the revitalization of the historic neighborhood.
The Mathis Collections
In addition to his civic work and projects in historic preservation, Walter Mathis was also an avid collector of fine and decorative arts. By the time of his passing in 2005, Mr. Mathis had assembled an impressive eclectic collection of paintings, silver, Napoleana, Texana and more. The collection, which numbers well over 12,000 individual pieces, is still showcased in his home, Villa Finale. Selected pieces are featured in this permanent exhibit.
Ninety years ago, in the midst of the roaring twenties, San Antonio printmaker Mary Bonner arrived in Paris to learn printmaking from French masters. From that moment onward, Bonner was inspired by the culture, people and landscape of France, at the same time producing very Texan works for her new French audiences. Villa Finale has assembled over 30 prints, watercolors and etchings of both Bonner and her French mentor, Édouard Léon for the exhibition Texas Meets Paris, which will open with fanfare on March 21, 2013. This exhibit is part of Villa Finale’s celebration of French Cultures Festival, a statewide observance led by the Consulat Général de France in Houston.(Image photography by Karina Serna)
Located in the Villa Finale Visitor Center's Rear Gallery
The National Trust for Historic Preservation, Preservation Texas and the Texas Historical Commission teamed up to announce the “I Love Texas Courthouses” campaign in order to shine the spotlight on the state’s beautiful historic treasures. Through the campaign, the organizations will work with local partners to bring awareness to the need for funding to save the state’s impressive collection of historic courthouses. This photo exhibition highlights just some of the state's beautiful courthouses as well as their architectural and historical relevance.