The Photo League (1936–1951) was a volunteer organization of professional and amateur photographers who believed in documentary photography as a powerful tool for social change. The League ran a photography school headed by lifechanging teachers like Sid Grossman, Berenice Abbott, and Aaron Siskind. It also had a darkroom for printing, published an acclaimed newsletter called Photo Notes, mounted major exhibitions of photography at a time when few other galleries or art museums were doing so, and was a lively place for socializing. Its members, many of whom were first-generation Jewish Americans, were among the most noted photographers of the mid-twentieth century—Morris Engel, Lisette Model, Ruth Orkin, Walter Rosenblum, and Weegee, to name just a few. They documented neighborhoods from Harlem to the Lower East Side to Coney Island, creating some of the most iconic images of the streets of New York. The League encouraged diverse approaches to social documentary photography during extraordinarily turbulent times beginning with the Depression, continuing through World War II and into the Cold War. In 1947, the League came under the pall of McCarthyism and was blacklisted for its alleged ties to the Communist party. Ironically, the Photo League had already begun to shift away from strictly political work and now promoted a more creative and subjective form of documentary photography. The League had even started a national campaign, proposing to become a “Center for American Photography.” But as paranoia and fear spread, members withdrew and the Photo League disbanded in 1951. Despite its truncated tenure, the Photo League had a tremendous impact on the course of modern photography, ushering in the era known as the New York School.