He completed his training at the Art Academy in Copenhagen from 1895 to 1899. 1906–1908 he took part as a draftsman in the Danmark expedition to northeast Greenland, which was led by Ludvig Mylius-Erichsen . The German Alfred Wegener was among the participants . After returning home, Friis published the travelogue In the Greenland Ice Sheet with Mylius-Erichsen , which he and the second painter and draftsman of the expedition, Aage Bertelsen , illustrated richly. In north-east Greenland the geographical names Achton Friis Ø and Cape Achton Friis remind of him today .
In the 1920s and 1930s he published a multi-volume natural and cultural history description of Denmark ( De Danskes Land ), which contains his own drawings and those by Johannes Larsen .
His son was the painter and graphic artist Claus Achton Friis (1917–1999).
- Danmarks-Ekspedionen til Grønlands Nordostkyst 1906–1908 , Copenhagen 1909, 2nd edition Gyldendal 1987.
- Arctic hunters , 1925
De Danskes Land :
- De Danskes Øer , 3 vol., 1926–1928 (132 islands on approx. 1,200 pages)
- De Jyders Land , 1932-1933
- Danmarks Store Øer , 1936–1937
- In the Greenland Ice Sheet with Mylius-Erichsen. The Danmark Expedition 1906–1908 , Spamer, Leipzig 1910
- Wild wide arctic. From the notes of a painter and hunter , Engelhorn, Stuttgart 1932
- Vagn Lundbye : 79'fjorden Omkom. Tragedien på Danmark-ekspedUNGEN 1906-08 . 2nd Edition. Brøndums Forlag 1984.
- Achton Friis Ø . In: Anthony K. Higgins: Exploration history and place names of northern East Greenland. (= Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland Bulletin 21, 2010). Copenhagen 2010, ISBN 978-87-7871-292-9 (English); accessed on June 13, 2017
- Cape Akhton Friis . In: Anthony K. Higgins: Exploration history and place names of northern East Greenland. (= Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland Bulletin 21, 2010). Copenhagen 2010, ISBN 978-87-7871-292-9 (English); accessed on June 13, 2017
|ALTERNATIVE NAMES||Friis, Johannes Achton|
|BRIEF DESCRIPTION||Danish draftsman and painter|
|DATE OF BIRTH||September 5, 1871|
|PLACE OF BIRTH||Trustrup at Grenaa|
|DATE OF DEATH||December 17, 1939|
|Place of death||Copenhagen|