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Earline King, Artist and Sculptor

Earline King, Artist and Sculptor

Molded in clay are the features of flight nurses Barbara Burdette and Karen Simpson and Pilot Barry Day. They died Sept. 23, 1986, when the North Carolina Baptist Hospital’s AirCare helicopter crashed into a fog-shrouded mountain in route to Galax, Virginia. Earline King, who is the artist/sculptor, signs each piece of her work “HK” (Heath was her maiden name). She used an enlarged AirCare group photograph to mold the clay of the three figures. It took three weeks to finish the bronze sculpture which is set into the center of an earth-toned granite monolith that is a foot thick, five feet wide and seven feet tall. Earline King was in her 28th year of scultpting when she made this piece. The other works by King that are here at the Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center include the busts of Dr. Henry Valk, Dr. Camillo Artom and Gordon Gray. Her best known work in Winston-Salem is the monumental sculpture of Richard Joshua Reynolds on horseback that stands in front of City Hall in Winston-Salem.

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  1. I would like to talk to someone about this. Karen was my roommate while in college.

  2. Karen was/is my sister and I appreciate your beautiful remembrance of her. It means a lot, because she is my personal hero, and the others heroes as well.

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Supported by grant funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) as administered by the State Library of North Carolina, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources.