|This article is about an older version of DF.|
A sculpture garden is a room defined from a statue. They act as meeting places for dwarves and tame animals, causing them to gather there when idle. When dwarves take a break in a sculpture garden, they will admire any built furniture in the room - therefore, you should define the room from a high quality statue and likewise place other high value furniture in the room. When viewing a dwarf's thoughts, any admired furniture within a sculpture garden will be 'tastefully arranged', giving them twice the happiness bonus they would normally get. Occasionally an idle dwarf will host a party at the statue, and dwarves who attend will have a chance to make friends.
The major problem with setting up a sculpture garden is that it will encourage your dwarves to throw parties. While parties have some virtues, they are generally regarded as a waste of important labor time. Fortunately, parties started at a sculpture garden are easily stopped. Simply ree the room, and the party is over.
Despite the problem with parties, there are some definite advantages to be had from sculpture gardens, especially when augmented by other things beloved of dwarves. A garden tends to be the favorite play area of dwarven children and off-duty soldiers, which makes it much more likely that a soldier will be handy when a goblin snatcher shows up. Combined with the extra spot checks from all the farm animals loitering there, a garden turns out to be a remarkably safe place.
Gardens are an excellent place to install some types of artifact furniture, since the dwarves will loiter there and have a greater chance of observing the magnificent creation. Even if an artifact floodgate is not blocking any fluid, dwarves still enjoy seeing it in built in the middle of a garden. With a few miscellaneous masterwork objects (levers, weapon racks, etc.) a trip to the garden can easily make a dwarf's year -- and happy dwarves are hard-working dwarves.