What's on at Villa Finale

Power of a LegacyA Virtual Salon Series

Walter at Villa Finale

We bring our signature salon series to YOUR salon!

2020 marks Villa Finale’s tenth year in operation as the only site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation in Texas. This year’s series, Power of a Legacy, celebrates that anniversary with featured guest presenters expert in fields that were of special interest to Villa Finale’s final owner, Walter Mathis.

For the safety and health of our guests, we’ve taken this series virtual via webinar format, allowing each participant to enjoy these intimate talks from the comfort of their own home. From preservation and military history to entertaining and collecting, this series will enlighten and entertain, while keeping you safe.

As a special bonus, we will be offering these webinars FREE with advance registration.

Past Lectures Hospitality

Olivier Bourgoin
Wine Broker & Freelance Food Writer

Olivier Bourgoin is a freelance writer specializing in producing food, wine, and restaurant-centric articles for several local publications. He also works in wine sales as an independent wine broker and has been a featured weekly guest on KTSA Radio (550 AM) since 2001 as “Olivier the Wine Guy.” He has given lectures on wine-related topics to a number of groups, including the San Antonio Museum Society, National Public Radio, and the Institute of Texan Cultures Adult Education Program. Olivier is currently working on a food-centric book with a San Antonio theme.


Ashley Wilson, FAIA, ASID
Chief Architect for the Historic Sites at the
National Trust for Historic Preservation

Ashley Wilson, FAIA, ASID is the Chief Architect for the Historic Sites at the National Trust for Historic Preservation in an endowed position named the Graham Gund Architect. This position provides broad oversight responsibilities related to the conservation and preservation of the architecture and landscapes of the Trust’s twenty-eight historic sites. With over twenty-five years of experience as a Preservation Architect, Ashley specializes in modernizing and stewarding significant historic buildings to make them relevant within the modern environment. Before working at the National Trust, she was a tenured professor at the Clemson University/College of Charleston Graduate Program for Historic Preservation in Charleston, SC and in private architectural practice in Washington DC. She graduated from the architecture schools at the University of Virginia and the University of Notre Dame.

Join us for futurePower of a Legacy virtual talks!

Thursday, November 12thMilitary Service

Major General Angie Salinas
Retired Officer & Chief Executive Officer,
Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas

Thursday, December 3rdCollecting Fine Art & Antiques

Lark Mason, Jr.
Art & Antiques Expert, Appraiser, & Author

Registration links for each talk will be available soon.

VF Virtual ToursStay distant, but see EVERYTHING with our incredible virtual tours

Staff Favorites
With Executive Director, Jane Lewis

Join Jane Lewis, Executive Director of Villa Finale, as she takes a quick trip though some of her favorite objects in Villa Finale’s vast collection, including prized paintings from the Cuzco School and Colonial retablos.

Music For Your Eyes
Tour Preview

This tongue-in-cheek preview teases Villa Finale’s signature music tour, Music For Your Eyes, coming soon!

Introduction to Villa Finale – Spanish Edition
with Sylvia Gonzalez-Pizaña

Manager of Collections & Interpretation, Sylvia Gonzalez-Pizaña, takes you on a quick Spanish-language tour of Villa Finale’s first floor.

Music For Your Eyes
A Musical Journey Through the Past

This virtual experience highlights the music machines in the museum’s collection with demonstrations of unique music boxes, antique turntables, and more.

Tell The Full StoryTravel virtually and learn about fascinating topics with our new blog series

Click here to delve into a fascinating story with Villa Finale Museum Attendant, Doug Daye, and learn about cosmetics and business pioneer and self-made millionaire, Madam C.J. Walker.

We may not be able to travel right now, but thanks to Villa Finale staffer Doug Daye we can still visit the Pueblo Grande Museum! Click here to visit this fascinating site virtually.

Obsessed with Napoleon? So are we! Click here to read all about Napoleon’s connection to the Rosetta Stone and the “Egyptomania” that swept the globe after its discovery in this blog post by Interpretive Guide, Sara Breshears.

In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, Executive Director Jane Lewis introduces readers to some lesser-known Hispanic figures. Click here to read all about it!

Many are familiar with the works and life of artist Frida Kahlo, but how many are acquainted with New Mexico sculptor Patrociño Barela? Click here to revisit Kahlo and get to know Barela in this blog post by staffer Doug Daye, in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month.

Getting to Know...Villa FinaleRoll up your sleeves and really get to know Villa Finale with these deep dives into our vast collection

“What’s It?” Wednesday
With Sara Breshears

Interpretive Guide, Sara Breshears, introduces at-home viewers to special items in Villa Finale’s collection via “guessing game.” How keen is your eye? Find out here!

View Number One in our series...

Then view for the answer reveal!

View Number Two in our series...

Then view for the answer reveal!

Collecting History: Stories Inspired by Villa Finale’s Most Weird & Wonderful Curiosities
With Sylvia Gonzalez-Pizaña

Our new video and blog series will highlight objects in the collection that aren’t always highlighted during our regular tours, but have more stories to tell than the eye can behold.

Click here for our introductory blog post and view the accompanying video below.

Ask Villa Finale
With Sylvia Gonzalez-Pizaña

Want to know even more about the collections at Villa Finale? Just ask! Manager of Collections & Interpretation, Sylvia Gonzalez-Pizaña gives in-depth answers to questions about our many incredible items and insights on many favorite old stories from this venerable home.

Learn about our Chevaux de Marly sculpture.

Learn about the mystery surrounding Napoleon's death mask. (English version. Scroll down for the Spanish version.)

Learn about the mystery surrounding Napoleon's death mask. (Spanish version.)

Learn more about a classic Villa Finale love story

Learn more about one of our favorite music boxes. (Spanish version.)

See something you want to know more about? Email us at!

A Witness to Change

This presentation, shown in video format, is one our staff gives to many of the group tours we host at our historic site. This four part series covers how the history of the house – known as “Villa Finale” – mirrors that of San Antonio. Enjoy this formerly in person-only offering from the comfort of your home!

Part One of this series

Part Two of this series

Part Three of this series

Educational & Family ProgrammingEnjoy the light side of Villa Finale with these fun and educational programs!

Enter…The Cocktail
With Orlando Cortinas

Multi-talented Buildings & Grounds Manager, Orlando Cortinas, introduces viewers to historic cocktail in this engaging new series. Join Orlando and some special guests as we cover cocktails by the decade, beginning with the 1870s.

View a demonstration of this 1870s classic!

Let's Start With Art!

Explore our collections and learn to make a masterpiece of your own with these virtual art activities.

The Music That Made Us: Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month

Manager of Collections & Interpretation, Sylvia Gonzalez-Pizaña takes a trip back in time for Hispanic Heritage Month and talks about some of the music that defined her youth. Plus, you’ll see a rarely-seen room at Villa Finale!

Tex-Mex Vs. Cali-Mex 

Join Orlando Cortinas and Sylvia Gonzalez-Pizaña go head to head in this Hispanic Heritage Month video, showcasing culinary delights from California and Texas.