The postwar period was a pivotal moment in the Art Students League’s history as it was for many institutions of higher education, thanks to the GI Bill of Rights. The League had been on the brink of closure due to rapidly declining enrollments, and then suddenly found itself not only saved but transformed by an influx of eager GIs. “Each class has capacity enrollment, and applicants are pleading for admission,” noted one observer. “The crowding and congestion have squeezed out the dilettante. The average age of the students is higher, the average outlook more serious.” The photographs in the digital gallery below reveal an incipient institutional transformation and creative rebirth at the League during the mid-1950s.