In the field of medieval archaeology the most important and dramatic recent discovery is unquestionably that of 364 fragments of statuary that originally adorned one of the greatest cathedrals of the Gothic age, Notre-Dame de Paris. This extraordinary find, which took place just over two years ago, in April 1977, was well documented by records providing specific details on the sculptures' deliberate destruction—one of the most perverse acts of Revolutionary fanaticism. Not only did the discovery measurably increase our knowledge of Gothic sculpture during its classical period, 1150–1250, but it also resurrected works of haunting beauty.
It is most appropriate that the Metropolitan and the Cleveland Museum of Art, two American museums with long and strong traditions of collecting in the field of medieval art, should collaborate in arranging an exhibition drawn from this extraordinary group of sculpture. Furthermore, it is pure serendipity that William Wixom, former Curator of Medieval Art at the Cleveland Museum and the recently appointed Chairman of the Metropolitan Museum's Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters, should be the coordinator of this particular collaborative venture between our two museums.