Interview SummaryMary Lynn Kotz, a writer and friend of Bess Abell, begins the interview by recalling when she first met Bess. Kotz discusses her marriage and the videography project of former presidents in the White House she created for Lady Bird Johnson. Kotz articulates the role of Bess Abell in the Johnson White House. Bess as a friend is discussed. Kotz talks of the book she wrote on presidents with J.B. West. Kotz also reflects upon an art trip she took with Bess and Joan Mondale. Kotz remembers when she met and interviewed Georgia O’Keeffe. Additionally, Kotz details what kind of an atmosphere Bess created in the White House as social secretary. The influence of Bess' early life on her career is explored. Interactions between Lady Bird and Bess are recalled. Kotz assesses Bess as an entertainer. Kotz remembers when she met artist Robert Rauschenberg. Kotz considers how Bess interacted with artists. Kotz describes when Bess became social secretary in the White House following the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Kotz details the friendship between Lady Bird Johnson, Marvella Bayh, and Bess Abell. Kotz also talks of what Bess accomplished as social secretary. To conclude the interview, Kotz tells some funny stories about Robert Rauschenberg.
Interview LC SubjectPoliticians Washington (D.C.) Marriage Presidents Art New Mexico Early life Johnson family Artists Sculpture Painting
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Interview UsageInterviews may only be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
Interviews may only be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
All rights to the interviews, including but not restricted to legal title, copyrights and literary property rights, have been transferred to the University of Kentucky Libraries.
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Kotz, Mary Lynn Interview by Brien Williams. 11 Jul. 2018. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
Kotz, M.L. (2018, July 11). Interview by B. Williams. Bess Abell Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.
Kotz, Mary Lynn, interview by Brien Williams. July 11, 2018, Bess Abell Oral History Project, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
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