The Cultural Landscape Foundation
Oct 13: Shaping the American Landscape: Spotlight on the Tennessee Valley


Charles A. Birnbaum
Kurt Culbertson
Arleyn Levee
Frances Lumbard


Above: Watersmeet, a private
garden by Bryant Fleming
in Nashville


Jack Becker, Ph.D., began his tenure as President and CEO of Cheekwood in 2002 as Vice President/Director of the Museum of Art.  Since February 2005, he has served as President/CEO of Cheekwood.  Dr. Becker has an MBA from the University of Michigan, a Ph.D. and M.A. degrees from the University of Delaware and a B.A. from Carleton College.  He has been awarded numerous fellowships and grants from institutions that include the National Gallery of Art, the Smithsonian Institution, the Henry Luce Foundation, the University of Michigan and the University of Delaware.  Dr. Becker has authored numerous publications that focus on arts, gardens and landscape painting. He has served as a lecturer at museums, galleries and universities throughout the United States and in Europe. Prior to joining Cheekwood, he served as the Curator of the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme, Connecticut.

Ben Page, ASLA, of Nashville, is a principal of Page/Duke Landscape Architects. Having grown up in Tennessee, he gleaned knowledge of the land, natural systems, and horticulture during a childhood spent on his grandparents’ and great grandparents’ farms, long before he considered landscape architecture as a career. While he was pursuing a medical education with the intent of becoming a doctor, fate intervened and he discovered a passion for his chosen field. Specializing in residential landscape architecture, his work is richly detailed and often incorporates a deep combination of historical influences interpreted for the 21st century. Mr. Page loves interacting with clients, and highly values the relationships that evolve during a project. He also considers it his great fortunate to have had clients who deeply share his passion. As his work has evolved, the influence of his farm roots has begun to assert itself more often, and he has become more involved in horse farm management, hunting plantation management and master planning for environmentally based communities. His work has been published nationally and featured on HGTV, and has received numerous awards. He received his Bachelor of Landscape Architecture degree with honors in 1973 from the University of Georgia.

Mack S. Prichard of Western Tennessee, received his BA in anthropology from Rhodes College and did post-graduate study at Tulane, University of Tennessee and the University of Memphis.  He was cited in Time Magazine for teaching members of the Choctaw how to make arrowheads at the Chucalissa Museum in 1957.  He worked over 50 years with the Tennessee Conservation Department (Now TDEC) as State Naturalist, State Archaeologist, Educational Specialist, Natural Areas Administrator and other similar roles.  Mr. Prichard has traveled over 2 million miles across Tennessee, given over 3000 programs and co-founded over 30 conservation groups to help save natural and cultural heritage.  As Emeritus he continues to be active in local, national and international preservation efforts. 


Lissa Thompson, ASLA, LEED AP, of Memphis, Tennessee holds an MLA from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design and is currently a principal with Ritchie Smith Associates (RSA), a planning, landscape architecture and urban design practice regionally recognized for design excellence and commitment to public landscapes, community revitalization, and landscape stewardship.  With RSA, Ms. Thompson has worked on a wide array of projects including: the Memphis Park Commission Facilities Master Plan; the Mississippi Riverbluff Walkway (Memphis); the University of Arkansas ‘Garvan Woodland Gardens' Master Plan (Hot Springs, AR); the Memphis Botanic Garden: Iris Garden, Four Seasons Garden, and New Visitors' Center and the Tennessee Bicentennial Mall and State Capitol Area Master Plan (Nashville).   She has been honored with numerous ASLA Tennessee Chapter awards, has served on regional committees for the National Trust for Historic Preservation, taught at and currently serves on the Dean’s Advisory Board at the University Of Arkansas School Of Architecture.  


Eleanor Willis is a Nashville native and a graduate of Vanderbilt University.  She has served as the Executive Director of Friends of Warner Parks since 1994.  The mission of Friends is to preserve, protect and exercise stewardship over Percy and Edwin Warner Parks. In addition, she was one of a small group of people who founded and directed a diverse group of organizations including: Heads Up Child Development Center for handicapped and low-income children; Rochelle Center, serving moderate to severely retarded adults; Nashville Tree Foundation, promoting tree planting and preservation; Cumberland Region Tomorrow, promoting regionalism for a 10 county region; and, Metropolitan Nashville Educational Access Corporation, generating Educational Television Programming.