In 1971, an exhibition entitled « New Photography USA » was organised at the Bibliothèque Nationale; borrowed from the MOMA (New York), it was devoted to young and little-known American photographers. Their works broke with photography as it was conceived in Europe, and with the « humanist » trend that prevailed at that time. Then, Diane Arbus, Lee Friedlander, Garry Winogrand, and many others emerged from obscurity. Each of them initiated in a personal way unique developments in the art of photography, making the most of its many possibilities without any a priori thoughts. Far from pictorialism, at a distance from the document in its pure form, they did not break however with the rich heritage represented by Walker Evans, Harry Callahan or Aaron Siskind.Thanks to a collaboration that was strengthened with each passing year, the Bibliothèque nationale de France houses today a collection including about three thousands period prints. However, the exhibition does not intend to trace the history of American photography in the 70’s. Some three hundred photographs have been selected that focus on a limited number of topics, initiating a journey across the iconographic whole that they constitute, a tracking in this part of our collection. Portraits (by Diane Arbus), landscapes (by Paul Caponigro, Lewis Baltz or Joe Deal), photographic experiments (by Duane Michals or Leslie Krims) on display, find an echo in street scenes by Garry Winogrand, William Klein, Bruce Gilden, in Larry Clark’s marginal heroes, in the quirky humour of Bill Owens and Ken Graves, in Ralph Gibson’s sophisticated style.The whole is surrounded by a dreamy and fantasized atmosphere, a key-element in the anglo-saxon heritage represented by Ralph Eugene Meatyard, Arthur Tress or Joel Peter Witkin.This exhibition aims to disclose the daring aspect and vigour or the artistic gesture, and to show the astounding sense of freedom which, at that time, swept stereotypes away and keeps influencing the postmodern conception of photography.