Absolutely Delighted With Jim And His Artistry And His Professionalism!

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)

General Ronald W. Yates, USAF


An Artist/Sculptor Of The Highest Caliber With Impeccable Credentials.

To Whom it may concern,

Jim Nance just completed what was arguably the biggest single undertaking of his career as a sculptor and artist.

The project included the design, fabrication, and mounting of twelve extremely large glass panels (biggest was 10 feet high, 4 feet wide, and 3 inches thick) with imbedded script and etched artwork plus the design, sculpting, casting in bronze and mounting of a larger than life figure which in and of itself is an exquisite piece of art.

The project took eighteen months from beginning to end. Jim made every milestone on time and on budget. He was an absolute pleasure to work with throughout the project and very receptive to comments and adjustments along the way. The final product turned out better than I could have imagined. It is a unique piece of art that has received wide acclaim from all who have seen it.

If you are looking for an artist/sculptor of the highest caliber with impeccable credentials who will take on and complete the toughest projects to your total satisfaction, Jim Nance is your man. Highly recommend.

General Howell Estes, III USAF (ret)

Project director, Lance Sijan Medal of Honor Memorial.

General Howell Estes, III USAF (Retired)


Ultimate Professional & Highly Talented...

To whom it may concern:

I have had the pleasure of working with Jim Nance on a number of custom sculpture projects for the US Air Force Academy, and would strongly recommend him to anyone considering a sculptor for a major custom-designed project.

Jim is the consummate artist and creative mind, yet always is focused on his client and the wants/needs of those commissioning him. He is extremely responsive, creating multiple initial examples, modifying and updating multiple draft versions, and providing his client with both layout proofs and “ready to cast” versions, and he does this smoothly and promptly.

I worked with Jim Nance on a particular project with over 30 “clients”, and his demeanor and ability to help us come to decisions in the face of differing opinions from among our group was outstanding. He was simply “on time, on cost” for our projects, and others I am closely familiar with involving similar challenges and creativity needs.

You will find Jim to be the ultimate professional, highly talented as an artist and creative designer and sculptor, but also very engaging and easy to work with. Best of all, the final products he has produced—and I am closely familiar with at least eight or nine of them—are truly beautiful and moving, just as his clients want them to be. Please call if I can offer any more insight or information, and again, you cannot do better than Jim Nance for a major creative sculpture project!


Major General Randy Jayne, USAF (retired)

Major General Randy Jayne, USAF (Retired)


A Remarkable Ability To Effectively Communicate From Both The Technical And Artistic Viewpoints.

Dear Sir,

It is with great pleasure that I strongly recommend Jim Nance to be the sculptor for the National Desert Storm Memorial. I have worked with Jim for over ten years. He is not only a world-class sculptor, but a superior person who displays the highest standards of integrity in every endeavor. He is a man of high character.

I am an Air Force Academy graduate and retired Air Force Colonel. During my career, I served in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War and was General Horner’s Deputy Director of Intelligence in Riyadh during Desert Storm. During my AF career, I taught Middle East Studies at the Academy and was the Academy’s Deputy Director of Admissions. I also served as the Executive Officer to the Commander-in-Chief of the Pacific Admiral Crowe and later as his Deputy Military Assistant when he was Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. I concluded my career as the Commander of the Air Force Historical Research Agency. After retirement, I was the Vice President of Communications for the Air Force Academy Association of Graduates.

For the last 12 years, three Academy classmates and I raised over two million dollars from our classmates to build the Southeast Asia Memorial Pavilion and Plaza of Heroes—both are projects that capture the accomplishments and achievements of Academy graduates during the SEA Conflict—the first war AF Academy graduates fought in. Jim Nance has been an integral part in designing and sculpting bronze sculptures and working closely with my colleagues and me on both projects. We could not be more pleased with his can-do attitude. We have given him many challenges from changing designs, revising budgets, and adding to his workload. In every case, he cheerfully accepted these new hurdles and met our every expectation.

He also proved his value as a team player by working closely with the Academy Architect and our contractors to meet the many requirements the Academy places on every architectural project. You won’t find a better team player—he is committed to satisfying his customer and not promoting his ego. He has a remarkable ability to effectively communicate from both the technical and artistic viewpoints.

I would just like to emphasize that Jim’s sculptures are world-class in every respect. I first met Jim about 12 years ago, when three classmates and I decided to build the Southeast Memorial Pavilion. We decided we needed a map of the area of operations for the conflict and sent out a request for RFPs. Jim gave a superb presentation that made it easy to select him as our sculptor. His sculpture of the bronze map in the Pavilion has received countless positive comments. The Museum of Flight in Seattle greatly admired his work and purchased a replica. He is currently in negotiations with the Naval Academy, Texas A&M, the Citadel, the Special Operations College, Texas Tech, Smithsonian and other interested parties who are interested in obtaining a copy of the map. His portrayal of the Ho Chi Minh Trail on the map may be the most accurate ever done on a work of art. Due to extensive research, he contacted two British historians who had met with General Giap—commander of North Vietnamese forces. Giap gave the historians his copies of maps showing the trial and Jim used them to show the trail in his SEA map.

The centerpiece of the Plaza of Heroes is a bronze sculpture by Jim of Lance Sijan,—the Air Force Academy’s only Medal of Honor recipient. His attention to detail is clearly evident in every aspect of the sculpture. For the north wall of the Plaza, Jim personally hired glass engineers to create a 42 page stress analysis and hired engineers to design the steel mounting brackets based on his study of the problems caused by the changing Colorado weather and exceptional winds. He certainly exhibited a thorough knowledge of technical and engineering challenges.

Jim has developed a solid reputation and is highly respected for his superb sculptures and his ability to be a team player . He is currently working on a major project that will sit at the entrance to the Air Force Academy. I have also had the pleasure of working with him personally on the design and sculpting of over 60 plaques honoring Academy graduates who fought in SEA. These plaques capture the courage and heroism exhibited during the war and serve to motivate today’s cadets to serve their nation as previous generations have. As an Academy graduate and Vietnam veteran, Jim has strong desire to preserve Academy and Air Force Heritage.

In summary, Jim Nance is the perfect person to help design and develop the Desert Storm Memorial. He has my highest endorsement for this project. I know he views this as a once in a lifetime opportunity. I guarantee you won’t find a more talented and dedicated person for this historic undertaking.

On a personal note, I commend you for fighting the bureaucracy to get the Memorial approved. As a Desert Storm veteran, I am looking forward to making your vision a reality. If you need any fundraising assistance, please give me a call.

Please feel free to call me if you have additional questions or desire further information.

Warm regards,

Richard S. Rauschkolb Colonel, USAF (Retired)


Reliable And True To His Word...

September 1, 2015

To Whom It May Concern:

It is my honor to recommend Jim Nance as an artist and a professional. The Museum of Flight in Seattle, Washington, commissioned him for a bronze sculpture project in 2013 and every aspect of Jim’s work has been perfect. His Vietnam Map sculpture is a wonderful addition to our world-class facility, viewed by more than 600,000 visitors every year.

It’s unusual to describe an 8-foot-tall memorial sculpture of a map as ’emotional,’ but the feelings evoked and the beauty of Jim’s work are just that. His detailed topographical sculpture shows each of the U.S. Air Force Southeast Asia military theater of operations and features the locations of the American airbases used from 1959 to 1975. Jim’s Vietnam Bronze Map is on display with the Museum’s aircraft of that era in our T.A. Wilson Great Gallery. It is a tribute to the men and women who served our country in the Vietnam War.

In addition to being a talented artist, Jim is reliable and true to his word. We were delighted with his excellent attitude and willingness to collaborate. His ability to plan and execute the project in a timely manner was greatly appreciated. Jim worked well with our Exhibits Department and Operations personnel, resulting in the sculpture being delivered and installed on time and within budget.

On behalf of the Museum’s Staff and Board of Trustee’s, I couldn’t be more pleased to enthusiastically endorse Jim Nance. His sculpture will touch the hearts of people who visit The Museum of Flight for many years to come.

I will gladly speak with prospective clients. Contact information will be provided upon request.


Mr. Doug King, CEO Museum of Flight


His Artistic Expressions Are Exceptional!

Letter Recommending Mr. James Nance, Sculptor

Selection Committee Members,

I am most pleased to recommend your selection of sculptor, Mr. James Nance. Mr. Nance has, in every regard, surpassed the performance of all other sculptors with whom I’ve worked throughout the past three years.

His research is extraordinary. His artistic expressions are exceptional. Equally important, he understands the critical aspects of partnering and personal accountability. Mr. Nance communicates openly throughout the life of the project. He responds immediately to questions and change proposals. He applies his engineering background to anticipate and resolve potential problems before they arise; protecting not just his artwork but the costs and timeline of the entire project. His respect for military values and his commitment to the warrior ethic have been invaluable to establishing the heritage of our United States Air Force Academy and the contributions of our graduates.

James Nance is a man driven by talent and integrity. I believe his performance will surpass your expectations and I welcome calls to discuss his extraordinary contributions to our needs.


Alan A. Burrell

Class Projects Officer

Association of Graduates

3116 Academy Drive

USAFA, Colorado 80840

Mr. Al Burrell, USAF Academy Assoc. of Grads


Highest Recommendation...

To whom it may concern:

In 2013, I worked with Jim Nance to design and sculpt a bronze monument for the Southeast Asia Pavilion at the U.S. Air Force Academy. That pavilion honors those graduates of the Academy who served in that war in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. My veteran’s group – the Southeast Asia Forward Air Controller’s Association, selected me to serve as the project leader for this effort.

Jim was the overall project designer and sculptor. I contacted him and outlined my initial ideas for the monument. He worked with me over several months to conceptualize a design which would capture the message that we wanted to portray concerning the service of our veterans in the war. He then turned it into a stunning work of bronze which was overwhelmingly approved and admired by our group. It allowed us to place our marker amongst those of many other veterans groups in that pavilion, and memorialize the role that we played and the sacrifices that we made in that long ago war.

Jim made that happen. Beyond his artistic creativity, he provided us with the cost estimates for initial sculpture and long term maintenance so that we could secure funding from our group. He met all of our delivery dates and was responsive to all of our requests and schedule adjustments. He is a highly creative and professional sculptor and businessman. It was a pleasure to work with him and I give him my highest recommendation.

Respectfully submitted,

Darrel Whitcomb, Col (ret) USAF

Forward Air Controller FAC Memorial Project leader

Fairfax, VA

Colonel Darrell Whitcomb, (ret) USAF


Jim Nance Is Certainly Among The Best!

Senior Vice President for External Affairs


April 15, 2006

(Recipient Name and Address Omitted)

Dear Dan:

I write upon learning that an artists’ competition is underway for a commission to create a monumental bronze statue of Lincoln for the Old Dayton Courthouse, and that the sculptor James Nance has submitted a proposal for this work.

I have known and admired Jim Nance’s work for several years, and consider his Lincoln works, “Prairie Lawyer” and “Immortal Conscience,” to be among the best-sculpted likenesses of the 16th President that I have ever seen. A you know, I have been a student of Lincoln imagery for more than 30 years, and have examined, researched, and written about the great Lincoln sculptures of the past century-and-a-half in books, articles, and monographs. I am familiar with every work created from 1860 onward, and believe I am not exaggerating when I say the “Prairie Lawyer” in particular is as good a likeness of the pre-presidential Lincoln as any ever produced – or likely to be produced by any artist. Considering that it was done in our lifetime, not Lincoln’s without the benefit of exposure to the subject himself, but rather from one-dimensional images, it is all the more remarkable.

Happily, there are many fine sculptors working in the Lincoln field these days, and Jim Nance is certainly among the best. I am sure his talent, record, and commitment would make him an excellent choice for this exciting commission. I have no doubt that his work would do honor to Lincoln’s Dayton connection, as made so well known to so many readers by Lloyd Ostendorf. The family could not have a better advocate in bronze to translate this association – this history- into bronze. I am confident, writing on this high holy day of the Lincoln Calendar, that the greatest of our presidents would literally be in good hands in the hands of sculptor James Nance.


Harold Holzer

Harold Holzer


Moving And Meaningful Rendition...

To the Committee Chair

Abraham Lincoln Club of Dayton

To the Committee:

It gives me great pleasure to write this letter recommending James Nance as the sculptor of the Old Dayton Courthouse’s new Abraham Lincoln statue.

I have known this artist for many years and I am a great admirer of his work. His Abraham Lincoln pieces are in my collection – The Frank and Virginia Williams Collection of Lincolniana. James is truly one of the great Lincoln artists of our day. He combines great skill in and passion for his craft with a true understanding of Mr. Lincoln. This combination of talent for meaningful sculpture plus the greater sense of Lincoln as a human being informs all of James’s work.

As a judge, I understand the importance of honoring our courthouses with meaningful pieces of art. It is my sincere belief that, if chosen to produce this important sculpture, James would create a moving and meaningful rendition of our 16th president – one that would honor the Old Dayton Courthouse and the city of Dayton for many years to come.

Please extend my regards to your family.

Yours Sincerely,

Frank J. Williams


Frank J. Williams


Absolutely Delightful...

Dear Jim:

I thank you for the promotion to “professor”….but I am an artist who writes about Lincoln, and has drawn and painted Lincoln since I was 12 years old…must hold a world’s record by now, in the thousands, of Lincoln illustrations I have done.

Two Lincoln universities have awarded me honorary Doctorates, but I do not have an earned degree.

I enclose a brochure depicting some samples of my work, and a flyer concerning my book, “Lincoln in Photographs”….. perhaps you have this one.

Now with that out of the way, I must say that your Lincoln sculptor work is absolutely delightful and the most faithful Lincoln reproductions I have seen in decades. It has always surprised me that with the aid of the two life masks, Volk and Mills, some artists have failed to really catch Lincoln in their work. Both of your Lincoln heads are wonderfully well done, life like, accurate, and truly Lincoln. I favor the beardless slightly over the presidential bearded Lincoln. Lincoln must have weighed about 25 pounds more as a lawyer, and the stress of the presidency caused him to weigh much less, and it showed in his photographs to some extent.

Actually, the bronze Mills mask which you used at the museum in Ft. Wayne is a casting from the rubber mold from my original plaster cast. The first cast out of Clark Mills mold, made on February 11th and 12th 1865. I obtained it many years ago from the Hay family who received the original head from Fisk Mills, son of the sculptor.

I use my masks as models for my illustrations, set them up with the lighting I want, and work from “life.” Lincoln is very obliging and holds still for me… more than I can say of other sitters.

Thanks for sharing pictures of your work, and it is a pleasure to get acquainted with a real Lincoln sculptor… Some sculptors Lincoln faces seem to reflect their own facial characteristics.

Perhaps someday we can talk at length. Congratulations on your accomplishments, and best wishes to you in your profession.


Lloyd Ostendorf

Lloyd Ostendorf


Greatly Impressed...

Dear James:

Have received your letter of January 30, 1993 with the several photos of your two portraits of President Lincoln.

I am greatly impressed with the serious and dedicated effort to present President Lincoln in two periods of his life. Your portraits do illustrate changes both subtle and obvious. The change in where he parted his hair is one of the most obvious.

I’ve carefully analyzed the photos you have forwarded. I have no suggestions to change your impressive work. Congratulations. I wouldn’t change anything.

Best Regards,

Gerald R. Ford

President Gerald R. Ford


Captured The Spirit Of This History Making Individual...


Since 1985, I have professionally photographed the works of many fine artists; especially those producing sculpture in all mediums. As an allied Professional Member of the National Sculpture Society, I am well versed in observing figurative sculpture, both in the round and in bas-relief.

Twelve years ago, I began to photograph James Nance’s works from his “Lincoln Project” including a photo of him with that body of work. It was easy for me to see that Mr. Nance did a great job of capturing the essence of this extraordinary man from my home state of Illinois. Jim “caught” the many important facial features and the various moods of Mr. Lincoln’s expressions. From my perspective, James Nance displays the results of much research into the character of his subjects with definitive ease. Recently I had the privilege of photographing his works on then president – elect Barack Obama. Both his medallions and his portrait busts captured the spirit of this history making individual. In fact, I was moved to purchase one of those medallions for display in our private art collection.

Having done business with Jim Nance for these past 12 years has allowed me to observe first hand, a competent, first rate professional with excellence underlying not only his work, but also in the manner in which he conducts his business. I feel that he is a man, an artist who I can trust. It is very easy for me therefore, to endorse and recommend him for any project that requires the traits I have mentioned in this letter.

Very Sincerely,

Mel Schockner


Mel Schockner


Excellent Portrait Sculptor...

To Whom it may concern:

This letter is to serve as my highest recommendation of James J. Nance as an excellent portrait sculptor and professional sculpture designer for public and private commissions.

As a professional sculptor with numerous commissions and awards to my credit, I have been aware of and impressed with Mr. Nance’s portrait sculpture for about 12 years now. One of the things that impresses me the most, along with his uncanny ability to capture not only a likeness but also a feeling of life in his portraits, is the amount of research he conducts and his adherence to the strictest authenticity.

Living and working in Loveland, Colorado, which has what we consider to be the premier bronze casting community in the country, Mr. Nance has access to skilled professionals in every aspect of the bronze casting process, from miniatures to monuments. He has an excellent working relationship with all of the casting professionals and, though he has a through knowledge of and experience with the process, he can be confident that someone here will be able to solve any conceivable technical challenge that might arise during any particular project.

As one with very high standards concerning the production of bronze sculpture, I would have complete confidence in James J. Nance to fulfill any portrait sculpture commission with professionalism and exceptional artistic sensitivity.