One of Scotland's most distinguished arts institutions has voted in its first female president.

Glasgow Art Club, which has a rich 148-year-history, admitted women as members in 1984, but this week elected Efric McNeil as its first woman president.

Ms McNeil first visited the club, in Glasgow's city centre, in the 1970s with her late husband, but in those days could only be a guest and not a member.

Now she sees her role as guiding the council of the club after it has undergone a major refurbishment involving funds from the Heritage Lottery Fund, which has meant it had to be more open to the public.

The main gallery of the club, in Bath Street, has undergone a £1.2m revamp which has included the restoration of a frieze by Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

Ms McNeil said her appointment had a degree of significance, adding: "I have come through quite long time of improvement in woman's lives, but particularly for this club as it did not allow women in until 1984.

"Now I know that is 30 years ago, but I think it is important that [her position] is marked, without making a big fuss about it.

"I am not into positive discrimination, but I think it's important that women are recognised, and that they can be in any walk of life, that is very important."

She around 35 per cent of the club's membership are women, and account for 40per cent of practising artists at the club.

Ms McNeil, a chartered accountant, served on the council of the club for six years, initially as Treasurer.

Her interests include late 19th and early 20th century architecture, the visual arts, renovation of the Picture House in Campbeltown, the preservation of historic buildings and the works of Neil Munro.

Two of her three daughters are also members of the club.

She said: "The club is ready to take off, in a slightly different way from the past, because with HLF we have be seen to let the public in, and we are doing that with tours, and we have always let people through the door.

"We also have an education project for schools. There is a lot and we will be doing more. I am excited for the future for the club."

The club was founded in 1867 and is used as a venue for weddings and other functions as well as art shows.

Artist members of times past included James Guthrie and E. A. Walton, along with other members of the Glasgow Boys, although the pioneers of this group had initially been refused membership.

Among more recent artist members were David Donaldson, Alexander Goudie and Emilio Coia, Billy Connolly and Liz Lochhead.