In 1854 Philip Cunliffe Owen married Jenny, daughter of Baron Fritz von Reitzenstein of the Royal Prussian Horse Guards.
Owen may possibly have known Whistler as early as 1878 when he was Director of the British section of the 1878 Paris Exposition Universelle. He became the director of South Kensington Museum, and as such was an important and influential figure in the London art world. He had a distinguished public career and was awarded various honours (K.C.B, C.B., C.I.E., K.C.M.G).
He was in contact with Whistler in 1889. He was also a member of the Savage Club, and they would therefore have had mutual friends.
Sterne, Louis, Seventy Years of an Active Life, London, 1912; Furniss, Harry, My Bohemian Days, London, 1919; The Kensington [...] Directory, London, 1882, and 1884-1888; Annual Register, London, 1894, p. 157.