It's a perfect marriage for art collectors Steve and Beverly Heymsfield.

"I bring the things in the house, and Beverly decorates," said Steve Heymsfield.

Their 42 years of searching and collecting art has turned their home in the Lakes at Highland into a showplace.

"It's pretty much my weekend hobby. I don't hunt," said Steve Heymsfield, physician, professor and former director of the Pennington Biomedical Research Center. His research studies are in the area of metabolism and obesity.

Although their collections reflect many periods of art, his emphasis now is art deco.

"I have a mechanical orientation," he said. "That's a characteristic of art deco."

For Beverly Heymsfield, it's about color and pattern.

"If something is monochromatic, I don't like it," she said. 

Their collection is a combination of styles.

"Steve's from New York City. I'm from Alabama," she said. "We've merged North and South."

When the Heymsfields moved to Baton Rouge about six years ago, they selected their relatively new home for the large rooms and the flow.

"We do quite a bit of entertaining," Beverly Heymsfield said. "This house works for that."

It also works as a setting for their various collections, which are distributed throughout the rooms. Also part of the displays are Steve Heymsfield's mosaic works, crafted in his garage shop, including three mosaic and iron tables, one of which reflects the moon and star motif at the top of the State Capitol. 


Not seeing the video below? Click here.



Art greets visitors at the front door with stained glass works by local artist Steve Wilson. The door leads to the semi-open foyer, living room and dining room.

The living room is centered with a large glass chandelier created by a family friend. Over the mantel hangs a Georgia artist's painting of cedar trees, and on the mantel a bowl made from one of the trees sits next to a rare Roseville pottery vase. 

In a corner of the living room is a life-size zinc statue from an old vaudeville theater in New York. The statue, representing autumn, was made around 1900 by J.W. Fiske, who was known for his likenesses of firemen, policemen and soldiers.

"My father collected things," Steve Heymsfield said. "One day, he drove me into Manhattan, where they were wrecking the old theater, and we picked up the statue. He painted it white and put it in our backyard."

Two of the most interesting rooms in the home are the his-and-hers offices on opposite sides of the house. They both contain large cabinets purchased from the estate of the doctor who delivered Beverly Heymsfield's mother in Cullman, Alabama. The cabinets in both offices are filled with antique apothecary bottles, the Heymsfields' oldest collection.

Steve Heymsfield's desk is a slab of natural wood on a complementing stand. In the window is a piece of stained glass from an old church. The room is filled with art, including three of his mosaics, and other items collected in the couple's travels. Along with the apothecary collection is an antique physician's chest with small drawers marked with the names of medicinal herbs.

Many of the items the Heymsfields have collected, including the small chandelier in his study, are from the Arts and Crafts movement so prevalent in Europe and the U.S. in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

"Steve's parents owned a summer camp in upstate New York that had an Arts and Crafts shack," Beverly Heymsfield said. "He got an early education in Arts and Crafts."

After four decades of collecting, the couple understands the importance of preserving items from the past. 

"We are both the oldest children in our families," Beverly Heymsfield said. "We have to save these things."