Vitruvian Man by Leonardo da Vinci circa 1487

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General Ronald Yates Letter

Vitruvian Man by Leonardo da Vinci circa 1487

Abraham Lincoln Prairie Lawyer, Terra Cotta by James Nance John terra cotta by James Nance Portrait of Jenny, Terra Cotta by James Nance

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Letter of Recommendation for James J. Nance

From General Ronald W. Yates, USAF (retired)

USAFA Class of 1960


15 April 2015


To whom it may concern,

            This is a endorsement of James J. Nance, sculptor, based on my close association with him in a professional capacity over a four year period. It is based on one completed major project and one that is nearing completion. These bronzes were basically full scale with the completed one measuring 12 feet by 6 feet and weighing over 1800 pounds. The one nearing completion is quite a bit larger. Both of these sculptures are housed in a Vietnam Memorial Pavilion at the United States Air Force Academy along with a third bronze completed by Jim several years ago also weighing in at over 800 pounds.

            I was the project lead and everyone associated with the project was absolutely delighted with Jim and his artistry and his professionalism. He has completed all of his projects on time and on budget. This is especially note worthy given that I gave him numerous suggestions and changes that he graciously accepted and incorporated with no change in budget. Most impressive, was his willingness to accept changes and not only incorporate them but significantly improve on them! He is very sensitive to the sponsors and, in our cases, the families of those being honored. He wraps himself around a project and embraces the concepts the sponsors want and takes them to new highs with ingenious ideas! For example, in searching for just the right model for a Prisoner of War memorial, he asked for volunteers from the Cadet Wing and thus got a model of the right age and physique that matched those being honored for their service. Further, he came up with the idea of collecting bracelets that were worn during the Vietnam War and melted that bronze into the final rendering, thus completing the connection of those who served with those who waited and cared. In short, Jim displayed not only superb artistic skills in this endeavor, he displayed genuine caring and a conviction of heart that is truly rare.  

            Jim Nance is a masterful artist who is totally reliable and honest. There is no “nit-picking” with Jim. He is a man of his word who I have trusted with our visions and with our money. He has never failed us! He is an open communicator and the sponsors are always fully informed of the progress of the project. When the sculptures were installed in the building, he worked with the architects and their contractors to insure that their work was completed on time and budget. So, he coordinated the entire project with a determination to meet our budget and schedules. One could not find a more sensitive, competent, artistically gifted, person for a major sculpture project. I unreservedly give James J. Nance my highest possible recommendation!


Ronald W. Yates

General, US Air Force (Ret)

Contact Information and copy of original letter upon request


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James Nance Sculpture Studio

4617 Lone Tree Drive, Loveland, Colorado 80537



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