Shortly after Nehru died in 1964, his daughter, Indira Gandhi, commissioned the Eames Office to plan a posthumous tribute for national, and subsequently, international viewing. The exhibition highlighted Nehru’s early life and marriage, his work on behalf of Indian independence, and his relationship with British and Indian leaders before and after becoming the state’s first prime minister.
The Eameses organized the exhibit in India with students of the National Institute of Design at Ahmedabad (a school established at Charles and Ray’s recommendation in the India Report).
Although it would have been easier to assemble the show in California, the Eameses felt that the project offered an excellent opportunity to collaborate on something of mutual interest. The construction of Nehru incorporated cost-cutting solutions to ensure the exhibition’s travel worldwide. This plan included the use of refillable sandbags disguised as plush Indian cushions to secure the exhibition’s interpretive panels—a constraint that reduced weight, thereby reducing expensive shipping expenses.