Eliza Greene Metcalf Radeke

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Eliza Greene Metcalf Radeke (1854–1931) was the president of the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) in Providence, Rhode Island from 1913 to 1931 and was the daughter of RISD co-founder Helen Adelia Rowe Metcalf.


Eliza Greene Metcalf Radeke was born in Augusta, Georgia on December 11, 1854[1] while her father, Jesse Metcalf was working as a cotton buyer. Eliza Radeke's mother Helen Adelia Rowe Metcalf was the co-founder of RISD in 1877. Eliza Metcalf attended Dr. Stockbridge's School in Providence and then received her A.B. from Vassar College in 1876. She later received an honorary A.M. from Brown University in 1914.

Eliza Metcalf married Dr. Gustav Radeke, M.D., of Providence on May 27, 1880.[2] In 1913 several years after her mother's death, Eliza Radeke became President of the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) and served on the Women's Advisory Committee of the Women's College at Brown University,[1] she also served as a director of the American Federation of Arts. She was a member of the Unitarian Church and pursued various outdoor activities. Radeke's brother, Jesse H. Metcalf, was a U.S. Senator from Rhode Island.[3]

Radeke was noted also for her collection of Pennsylvania German pottery, begun in 1911; she was one of the first major collectors to focus on the field of American folk art.[4]


  1. ^ a b Leonard, John W. (1914). Woman's Who's who of America: A Biographical Dictionary of Contemporary Women of the United States and Canada, 1914-1915. New York, New York: The American Commonwealth Company. p. 669.
  2. ^ "History of the state of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations: Biographical". Ancestry.com. Rhode Island USGenWeb Project. 2001-01-01. Retrieved 2016-03-08.
  3. ^ Albert Nelson Marquis, Who's who in New England, Volume 2 (Google eBook) (A.N. Marquis, 1915), pg. 885
  4. ^ National Museum of American Art (U.S.); Lynda Roscoe Hartigan (1 January 1990). Made with Passion. National Museum of American Art. ISBN 978-0-87474-289-3.