BBQ Photographers

BBQ Photographers: O. Rufus Lovett

by Daniel Vaughn · January 20, 2014

Every month we bring you a profile of a photographer who has captured the people, the food and the spaces that make up the world of barbecue.

O. Rufus Lovett – Longview, Texas

My first barbecue photograph involvement came a few years ago when food writer Robb Walsh and I were on assignment for Gourmet magazine experiencing Mama Sugar’s Barbecue Juneteenth Celebration.  Not long after the two of us were together again working on a piece for Saveur magazine on Zen Barbecue hitting a few BBQ joints in Texas.  It was then when we decided to take on the mission of traveling together from Texas through the deep south to the Carolinas and back seeking a few of the mostly family owned establishments that continue to work a true barbecue wood burning pit. This southern odyssey became Barbecue Crossroads released in April 2013, published by The University Of Texas Press. This project instilled in me an enduring respect for the work ethic of those with so much passion for barbecue, a culture worthy of recognition. The following photographs are a few of the takes from that odyssey.

 

Vencil Mares at the Taylor Cafe in Taylor, TX

Vencil Mares at the Taylor Cafe in Taylor, TX

-

Smitty's Meat Market wood pile in Lockhart, TX

Smitty’s Meat Market wood pile in Lockhart, TX

-

Craigs Barbecue in Devalls Bluff, AR

Craigs Barbecue in Devalls Bluff, AR

-

Gary Marbut, owner of the Rocket in Jacksonville, Alabama

Gary Marbut, owner of the Rocket in Jacksonville, Alabama

-

Reverend Clint Edison at New Zion Missionary Baptist Barbecue in

Reverend Clint Edison at New Zion Missionary Baptist Barbecue in Huntsville, TX

-

Wilbur Shirley checks pit full of whole hogs at Wilbur's in Gold

Wilbur Shirley checks pit full of whole hogs at Wilbur’s in Goldsboro, North Carolina

-

Rodney Scott mops the pit at Scott's Variety in South Carolina.

Rodney Scott mops the pit at Scott’s Variety in South Carolina

-

Pops, a pit master at Wilbur's in Goldsboro, North Carolina.

Pops, a pit master at Wilbur’s in Goldsboro, North Carolina

-

Fire box at Scott's Variety in South Carolina.

Fire box at Scott’s Variety in South Carolina

-

Coal shovel at Scott's-Parker's BBQ in Lexington, Tennessee.

Coal shovel at Scott’s-Parker’s BBQ in Lexington, Tennessee

-

Stirring the beans in a 50 gallon cast-iron wash pot in Millheim

Stirring the beans in a 50 gallon cast-iron wash pot in Millheim, TX
at a community BBQ

-

Shayne Carter at Millheim Farther's Day community BBQ.

Shayne Carter at Millheim Father’s Day community BBQ

-

O. Rufus Lovett has been living in Longview, Texas for the past 37 years teaching photography at Kilgore College and working as a fine art and editorial photographer.  In 2005 he was awarded Piper Professor from the Minnie Stevens Piper Foundation in San Antonio for superior teaching at the college level. Lovett’s editorial work has appeared in Texas Monthly, People magazine, Gourmet, Saveur, Texas Highways and others.

The University of Texas Press at Austin has published two of his photographic books, Weeping Mary in 2006 and Kilgore Rangerettes in 2008.  Most recently he has completed a new book with food writer Robb Walsh, BBQ Crossroads that was released by The University of Texas Press in April 2013.

Lovett’s fine art photographs are in the permanent collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, The Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at The University of Texas At Austin, the Birmingham Museum Of Art in Birmingham, Alabama, the Wittliff Gallery of Southwestern and Mexican Photography in San Marcus, Texas, Baylor University in Waco, Texas, the Art Museum of Southeast Texas in Beaumont, Texas and The Grace Museum in Abilene, Texas.

Every month TMBBQ highlights a photographer with a love for barbecue as subject matter. If you’d like your photos to be included in this online gallery please contact dvaughn@texasmonthly.com

Comments

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>